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Full text of "History of Perry County, Pennsylvania, including descriptions of Indians and pioneer life from the time of earliest settlement"

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Perry  County,  Pennsylvania 

Including  Descriptions  of  Indian  and 

Pioneer  Life  from  the  Time  of 

Earliest  Settlement 

Sketches  of  Its  Noted  Men  and  Women 
and  Many  Professional  Men 


H.    H.    HAIN 



Hain-Moore  Company,   Publishers 
harrisburg,  pa. 


Copyright  1922 


Hain-Moore  Company 

JUL  31  32 


'I  love  tin    rocks  and  ril 

r M  y()  all  those  Perry  Countians  who 

-Z  first  saw  the  beautiful  rays  of  the 
morning  sun  as  it  came  up  o'er  the 
Blue  Ridge  Mountains,  who  cherish 
fond  memories  of  the  land  of  their 
birth,  and  to  those  oilier  citizens  of  the 
Republic  who  have  chosen  to  make 
their  abiding  place  within  the  borders 
of  the  Best  Little  County  in  the  Com- 
monwealth, this  book  is  respectfully 

Thy  woods  and  templed  hills." 


THE  lands  lying  north  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain, 
which  wove  a  part  of  Cumberland  County  until  1820,  when 
Perry  County  was  organized,  form  historically  one  of 
Pennsylvania's  most  interesting  sections  for  various  reasons. 
Here,  when  the  world  was  in  formation,  geologists  tell  us,  oc- 
curred upheavals  and  an  admixture  of  the  elements  so  unusual 
that  Perry  County,  as  to-day  constituted,  has  more  varieties  of 
soil  than  any  other  county  in  the  State. 

For  many  years  these  lands  stood  at  the  very  verge  of  the  un- 
broken forests,  a  veritable  out-post  of  civilization,  where  the  war- 
whoop  of  the  red  men  yet  echoed  through  the  hills  while  the 
pioneer  plied  axe  and  saw,  as  he  hewed  from  the  wooded  lands  a 
home  for  himself  and  his  people.  Amid  such  surroundings  there 
was  no  place  for  the  weakling  or. timid  and  thus  there  came  to 
these  lands  a  race  of  men  and  women,  fearless  and  unafraid,  who 
builded  their  homes,  carved  from  the  wilderness  their  farm  , 
peopled  the  towns,  surged  over  the  borders  and  became  useful 
citizens  of  other  counties  and  states.  They  or  their  descendants 
have  filled  positions  of  honor  and  trust,  which  included  the  Presi- 
dency, the  Vice-Presidency  of  two  governments,  governorships, 
chief  justices'  places  on  the  supreme  courts  of  three  different 
states,  and  United  States  senatorships.  From  no  other  county 
have  come  more  illustrious  men  or  those  whose  ancestry  have 
abided  there,  considering  the  small  extent  of  territory  and  the 
necessarily  attendant  small  population  of  a  rural  county. 

This  is  more  than  a  history  of  Perry  County,  as  it  records 
much  of  Indian  habitation  and  devastation  and  pioneer  life  long 
before  its  lands  became  a  county,  which  has  come  down  to  us 
through  the  mists  of  another  day,  being  principally  based  on 
official  records  and  historical  accounts  of  the  period,  with  here  and 
there  a  tinge  of  tradition,  when  well  founded,  which  has  de- 
scended down  the  years  through  generations  of  responsible  people. 

Among  the  first  settlers  were  men  and  women  of  mental  vigor 
and  talent,  and  these  characteristics  became  inherent  in  unborn 
generations,  with  the  attendant  result  that  Perry  County  has  not 
only  been  the  birthplace  of  many  men  illustrious  in  the  affairs  of 
state,  but  also  of  an  array  of  men  and  women  educated  in  the 
learned  professions,  who  have  held,  or  hold,  responsible  positions 
in  their  respective  communities,  all  over  Pennsylvania  and  in  a 
large  majority  of  the  states  of  the  Union.  While  the  book  is  in 
no  sense  a  biographical  work,  yet  it  is  deemed  fit  and  proper  to 
record  the  more  noted.    Unfortunately  the  list  is  not  complete,  as 



the  whereabouts  of  some  at  this  time  is  unknown  to  the  author, 
as  many  letters  seeking  information  remaining  unanswered,  and 
also  for  the  reason  that  it  is  difficult  to  obtain  the  records  of 
those  of  the  first  half -century  or  more  of  the  county's  existence. 
It  will  serve  as  a  basis  for  future  records. 

Of  all  these  things;  of  the  county's  beautiful  scenery,  with  its 
physical  distinction  and  magnificent  mountains,  verdant  valleys, 
rambling  and  sometimes  raging  rivers ;  of  its  traditions  and  its 
treasures — its  homes  and  its  people,  the  book  will  go  into  detail. 

It  is  unfortunate  that  the  work  was  not  undertaken  a  score  of 
years  ago ;  but  the  author,  who  was  just  young  enough  to  be  in- 
cluded in  the  last  conscription  of  men  for  the  United  States  army, 
in  1918,  during  the  great  World  War,  at  an  earlier  day  never 
even  dreamed  of  personally  assuming  a  work  of  this  importance. 
Had  it  been  undertaken  then,  the  help  of  many  who  have  since 
passed  away  could  have  been  enlisted,  thus  securing  data  which 
has  now  been  lost  for  all  time. 

In  undertaking  the  task  of  writing  and  compiling  a  history  of 
the  county  of  his  nativity,  the  author  has  not  done  so  under  the 
impression  that  he  is  more  able  to  do  so  than  others,  as  there  are 
many  more  competent.  It  was  principally  undertaken  by  him  as 
no  other  had  even  presumed  to  do  so.  A  period  of  almost  fifty 
years  had  elapsed  since  the  publication  of  Wright's  History  of 
Perry  County,  the  only  separate  history  of  the  county  published 
since  its  organization,  and  which  was  written  in  answer  to  a 
call  from  the  Governor  for  the  compilation  of  a  history  of  every 
county  of  the  Commonwealth  prior  to  the  Centennial  of  1876. 

The  book's  contents  are  largely  the  result  of  development. 
While  some  of  the  material  used  dates  back  to  a  boyhood  scrap- 
book,  and  more  to  the  advantages  afforded  by  connection  as  a 
correspondent  from  boyhood  and  later  as  editor  of  one  of  the 
county  newspapers,  and  a  continual  collection  of  historical  data 
since,  yet  by  far  the  major  portion  was  gathered,  written  and 
compiled  during  the  past  three  years.  As  the  prospectus  an- 
nouncing its  coming  publication  was  being  written,  June  28,  1919, 
the  bells  and  whistles  at  the  State  Capital  were  pealing  forth  the 
glad  tidings  that  the  terms  of  peace  had  been  signed  at  Versailles, 
and  two  days  later  war-time  prohibition  became  effective  through- 
out the  Nation. 

From  the  very  beginning  of  writing  and  compiling  this  volume 
the  author  has  taken  the  public  into  his  confidence,  through 
notices  in  the  public  press,  and  at  every  phase  of  its  compilation, 
and  with  some  success.  Conjointly  with  letters  seeking  informa- 
tion the  business  end  was  conducted  and  its  publication  assured. 
As  the  book  goes  to  press  the  proposed  edition  has  been  almost 
wholly  subscribed  for.     Inexperienced  in  the  writing  of  a  book 


the  triple  method  of  traveling  the  territory,  with  the  greater  part 
of  which  he  was  already  familiar,  searching  legal  records  and 
doing  research  work  in  libraries  was  adopted  in  the  very  begin- 
ning and  continued  throughout,  and  found  to  be  advantageous. 
His  place  of  residence  and  occupation  made  available  the  wonder- 
ful library  of  the  State  of  Pennsylvania,  the  library  of  the  City 
of  New  York,  occupying  a  block;  the  Carnegie  Library  at  Pitts- 
burgh, a  veritable  acreage  of  books,  and  others  of  less  impor- 
tance, an  advantage  not  available  a  half  century  ago,  when  the 
former  history  was  written.  The  work  has  been  a  pleasanl  one, 
done  in  connection  with  filling  a  regular  position,  and  if  the 
reader  enjoys  the  perusal  of  the  volume  half  as  much  as  the 
author  enjoyed  its  writing  and  compilation  he  is  well  repaid  for 
his  efforts,  undertaken  largely  as  a  labor  of  love.  His  one  aim 
has  been  to  give  to  posterity  all  of  the  many  good  things  per- 
taining to  his  native  county  and  its  people,  in  so  far  as  possible, 
in  the  form  of  a  single  volume.  Had  its  completion  been  hurried 
much  valuable  data  would  have  been  lacking. 

The  history  of  a  county  differs  from  that  of  a  state  or  nation. 
its  government  being  largely  a  part  of  a  greater  territory,  and 
necessarily  includes  matters  of  state  and  national  importance,  as. 
they  have  a  bearing  upon  local  conditions.  That  tendency  is  a 
marked  one  in  so  far  as  Perry  County  is  concerned,  for  in  both 
the  pioneer  period  and  the  sectional  war  time  these  lands  were 
at  the  very  borderland.  In  this  book  there  will  be  fonnd  many 
things  which  naturally  are  of  the  state  and  nation,  hut  they  are 
here  embodied,  as  their  bearing  on  local  matters  is  of  import.  To 
William  C.  Sproul,  Governor  of  Pennsylvania;  Thomas  L.  Mont- 
gomery, then  State  Librarian,  and  H.  H.  Shenk,  Custodian  of 
Public  Records,  the  author  is  indebted  for  public  sanction  of  the 
undertaking  and  for  putting  at  his  disposal  every  facility  and  ad- 
vantage for  securing  information.  Should  he  name  the  published 
works  of  others  which  he  has  searched  for  information  it  would 
require  pages,  as  he  has  gone  over  many  hundreds  of  them. 

In  his  many  trips  within  and  without  the  county,  the  latter 
mostly  spent  in  interviewing  former  Perry  countians,  every- 
where he  met  with  the  kindest  consideration  .and  regard  and  to 
name  a  list  of  all  who  gave  information  is  also  impossible,  but 
they  have  his  most  profound  thanks  for  help  in  the  preservation 
of  these  historical  records.  Here  and  there  throughout  the  book 
he  gives  mention  to  a  few  who  have  been  of  marked  assistance. 
Especial  credit  is  due  to  Miss  Margaret  H.  Barnett,  of  New 
Bloomfield,  who  carefully  read  practically  all  of  the  manuscript 
and  made  necessary  corrections  and  valuable  suggestions ;  to 
Prof.  H.  H.  Shenk,  custodian  of  Public  Records  of  the  State  of 
Pennsylvania,  and  former  Professor  of  History  in  Lebanon  Yal- 


ley  College,  for  performing  a  similar  duty ;  to  Dr.  George  P. 
Donehoo,  secretary  of  the  Pennsylvania  Historical  Commission 
and  a  noted  authority  on  Indian  lore,  and  now  State  Librarian, 
for  reviewing  the  Indian  chapters,  and  to  the  many  who  read  and 
criticised  chapters  with  which  they  were  especially  familiar. 

To  those  who  loaned  volumes  from  their  lihraries  we  are  in- 
debted, and  especially  so  for  the  valuable  scrap  books  of  Miss 
Minnie  Deardorff,  Rev.  John  D.  Calhoun,  the  late  Senator  Charles 
H.  Smiley  and  others.  Ex-Senator  James  W.  McKee  and  At- 
torney George  R.  Barnett  deserve  special  mention  for  aiding  in 
research  work  on  many  occasions. 

The  county  editors  have  been  uniformly  kind  and  helpful  in 
every  way,  including  the  gratuitous  use  of  their  columns  for 
furthering  the  work  and  for  seeking  information,  and  the  privi- 
lege of  searching  their  files.  To  Messrs.  H.  E.  Sheibley  and  W. 
W.  Branyan  we  are  also  indebted  for  the  use  of  a  number  of  the 
interesting  electrotypes  which  help  illustrate  the  book. 

Upon  the  practical  completion  of  the  book  notice  was  given 
through  the  public  press,  inviting  any  interested  persons  to  read, 
criticise  and  correct  any  misstatements  which  they  might  find. 
The  privilege  of  so  doing  was  open  for  a  period  of  sixty  days. 

During  the  many  days  spent  in  the  capitol  building  and  state 
library  at  Harrisburg  the  writer  was  treated  with  the  utmost 
courtesy  and  consideration,  both  by  the  employees  and  their 
chiefs.  They  are  skilled  in  their  respective  duties  and  considerate 
of  the  general  public,  whose  business  calls  them  to  Capitol  Hill. 

While  the  work  was  in  progress  death  took  from  us  a  num- 
ber of  men  and  women  who  had  offered  help  in  securing  material 
and  facts,  some  of  which  appears  here  and  there  throughout  the 
book.  Among  these  were  Prof.  L.  E.  McGinnes,  Prof.  Daniel 
Fleisher,  Frank  Penned,  Mrs.  Annie  Swartz  Hench,  wife  of  Harry 
F.  Hench,  and  Mrs.  Clara  Lahr  Moore,  wife  of  Dr.  E.  E.  Moore, 
two  cultured  and  learned  women. 

As  the  work  took  form  the  impression  was  made  that  no  mat- 
ter what  proportion  it  assumed  upon  completion  there  would 
still  be  a  lack  of  finality,  as  ever  and  anon  there  appeared  new 
(or  rather  old)  data,  legend,  tradition,  and  sketches  of  men — 
and  still  more  men — who  had  gone  forth  from  Perry  County  and 
its  territory  and  lived  lives  of  honor  and  distinction.  There  will 
be  errors,  of  course,  but  the  statements  herein  made  have  all  been 
secured  or  transferred  from  historical  or  other  books,  public 
records,  newspaper  files,  scrap-books,  etc.,  except  where  noted. 
Where  statements  have  differed  the  one  supported  by  facts  has 
been  used. 

H.  H.  Hain. 

Harrisburg,  Pa.,  January  io,  1922. 



I.   Location,  Physical  Features, Geology,  Etc.  15 

II.    Earliest  Records  of  Indian  Inhabitants  37 

III.  Intruding  Settlers  Evicted 57 

IV.  Treaty  of  Peace,  but  a  Devastating    In- 

dian Warfare 84 

V.    Simon  Girty,  the  Renegade 104 

VI.    Duncan's  and  Hauh; man's  Islands  [18 

VII.    Coming  of  the  Trader 137 

VIII.    Coming  of  the  Pioneers [48 

IX.    Perry  County  in  the  Revolutionary  War  161 
X.    Perry  County  Territory  in  the  War  of 

1812    177 

XI.    The  Province  and  "Mother  Cumberland"  [82 

XII.    Perry  County  Established 201 

XIII.  The  Fight  for  the  County  Seat 221 

XIV.  Trails  and  Highways   231 

XV.    Old  Landmarks,  Mills  and  Industries  . .  247 

XVI.    The  Earliest  Churches  280 

XVII.    The  County  Schools,  Past  and  Present  369 

XVIII.    Academies  and  Public  Institutions  335 

XIX.    Postrider  and  Stagecoach   362 

XX.    Rivers,  Streams  and  Old  Ferries 374 

XXI.    River  and  Canal  Transportation  401 

XXII.    Building  of  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad  421 

XXIII.  Projected  and  Other  Railroads 431 

XXIV.  The  Sunday  School  Movement  in  Perry 

County   438 

XXV.    The  Liquor  Question 443 

XXVI.    The  County's  Public  Officials  448 

XXVII.    The  Bench  and  Bar 459 

XXVIII.    The  Public  Press ^3 

XXIX.    Banks  and  Corporations 488 

XXX.    County's  Early  Years — A  Comparison  . . .  407 

XXXI.    Perry  County  in  the  Sectional  War  ....  543 

XXXII.    The  Spanish-American  War 580 

XXXIII.  The  World  War  and  Perry  County 582 

XXXIV.  Perry  County's  Noted  Men 604 

XXXV.    Agriculture  in  Perry  County  862 

XXXVI.    The  Tuscarora  Forest 870 

XXXVII.    Perry  County  From  Many  Viewpoints  . .  882 
XXXVIII.    Perry  County's  Boroughs,  Townships  and 

Villages  911 




The  Author    Frontispiece 

Map  of  Perry  County 6 

Gibson's  Rock 16 

Susquehanna  Water  Gap,  at   Duncannon    39 

The  Lincoln  Profile  Rock 60 

Junction  of  the  Juniata  and  Susquehanna  Rivers 82 

The  Indian  Profile  at  Girty's  Notch 105 

Scene  at  Haldeman's  Island  131 

Sherman's  Creek,  near  Gibson's  Rock 140 

A  Pioneer  Bride  and  Groom 154 

The  Old  State  House  at  Philadelphia 167 

William  Penn,  the  Founder  of  the  Province 183 

Landisburg,  the  First  County  Seat   202 

Robert  Mitchell,  One  of  the  First  Commissioners 214 

The  Courthouse  at  New  Bloomfield 221 

New  Bloomfield,  Looking  North 224 

The  Old  Rice  Gristmill  near  Landisburg 2^^ 

"Westover,"  the  Gibson  Mill   258 

John  Wister,  Noted  Iron  Manufacturer jyS 

Rev.  Chas.  Beatty,  Pioneer  Missionary 282 

Rev.  Jacob  Gruber,  a  Circuit  Rider 287 

Pioneer  Communion  Service 290 

Jacob  Buck,  a  Zealous  Churchman   300 

Daniel  A.  Kline,  County  Supt.  of  Schools 310 

Schoolhouses  at  Mt.  Pleasant ^22 

Lewis  B.  Kerr,  Early  County  Supt.  of  Schools 327 

vSilas  Wright,  Educator  and  Historian   ^^2 

The  Loysville  Academy 336 

Football  at  Carson  Long  Institute 342 

William  Grier,  Associate  Judge  and  Educator 345 

William  Carson  Long   346 

Donald  C.  Willard 347 

The  Tressler  Soldiers'  Orphans'  Home 351 

Rev.  Philip  Willard   353 

Charles  A.  Widle,  Supt.  Tressler  Orphans'  Home 355 

The  Juniata  River  at  Iroquois   374 

The  Flood  of  1889  at  Newport 391 

The  Pennsylvania  Canal  at  Mt.  Patrick 402 

Pennsylvania  Canal  and  Aqueduct  at  Newport 41 1 

The  Pennsylvania  Railroad  Bridge  at  Marysville 424 

Pennsylvania  Railroad  Tracks  Along  the  Juniata 429 




r  \or, 

Rev.  Matthew  B.  Patterson  445 

Judge  Benjamin  F.  Junkin 460 

Judges  Charles  A.  and  James  M.  Barnett 466 

Judges  Win.  N.  Seibert  and  James  W.  Shall 468 

Horace  E.  Sheibley,  Editor 477 

James  A.  Magee  and  Wm.  C.  Lebo,  Editors 479 

Frank  A.  Fry  and  Sons,  Editors 480 

C.  B.  Smith  and  R.  M.  Barton,  Editors |Sj 

John  A.  Baker,  Leading  Abolitionist  and  Editor 483 

John  A.  Magee,  Democratic  Editor  and  Congressman [X  | 

John  H.  Sheibley,  Noted  Republican  Editor 485 

The  Duncannon  National  Bank 491 

The  First  National  Bank  of  New  Bloomfield 492 

Lieut.  Edward  Moore,  Paul  Fleisher  and  James  Zimmerman  588 

Warren  G.  Harding,  President  of  the  United  States 609 

-Thomas  R.  Marshall,  Vice-President  of  the  United  States  612 

Alexander  H.  Stephens,  Vice-President  of  the  Confederacy  614 

James  G.  Blaine,  Noted  American  Statesman   626 

Chester  I.  Long,  Lhiited  States  Senator 633 

William  Bigler,  Governor  of  Pennsylvania 637 

John  Bigler,  Governor  of  California 645 

Gen.  Stephen  Miller,  Governor  of  Minnesota 650 

Gen.  James  A.  Beaver,  Governor  of  Pennsylvania 655 

John  Bannister  Gibson,  Chief  Justice  of  Pennsylvania  ....  667 

Daniel  Gantt,  Chief  Justice  of  Nebraska 677 

Henry  Calvin  Thatcher,  First  Chief  Justice  of  Nebraska  .  .  681 

John  A.  Thatcher,  Pioneer  Merchant  and  Banker 689 

The  Thatcher  Building  at  Pueblo,  Colorado 691 

Mahlon  D.  Thatcher,  Noted  Financier  and  Banker 693 

Col.  A.  K.  McClure,  Noted  Editor 701 

Luther  M.  Bernheisel,  Noted  Builder 70 ^ 

Elihu  C.  Irvin,  Noted  Insurance  President 707 

Marie  Doro,  Famous  Dramatic  Star 709 

Carlton  Lewis  Bretz,  Noted  Railroad  Man 714 

Elizabeth  Reif snyder,  M.D 717 

Mina  Kerr,  College  Dean  718 

David  L.  Tressler,  College  President   720 

Chas.  W.  Super,  University  President yi^ 

Jesse  Miller,  Notable  Early  Congressman     yiy 

Benj.  K.  Focht,  Member  of  Congress 730 

Harris  J.  Bixler,  Member  of  Congress 731 

J.  R.  Flickinger,  Principal  Central  Slate  Normal  School  .  .  y^y 

L.  E.  McGinnes,  Supt.  of  Steelton  Schools, 742 

,Wm.  Nelson  Ehrhart,  Supt.  Mahanoy  City  Schools 746 

Theodore  K.  Long,  Founder  Carson  Long  Institute 748 



Sheridan  E.  Fry,  Municipal  Judge  at  Chicago 752 

Rev.  and  Mrs.  John  R.  Peale,  Martyred  Missionaries 754 

D.  F.  Garland,  D.D.,  Noted  Welfare  Director 763 

Anna  Froehlich,  Noted  Teacher    767 

H.  W.  Flickinger,  Expert  Penman  769 

Lelia  Dromgold  Emig,  Genealogist 771 

S.  Nevin  Hench  (Inventor)  and  Walker  A.  Dromgold  .  .  .  773 

Col.  George  E.  Kemp,  Postmaster  of  Philadelphia 'jj'j 

Wm.  F.  Calhoun.  Speaker  Illinois  Assembly 780 

Rev.  John  Dill  Calhoun 784 

Rev.  James  Wr.  Meminger,  D.D 786 

Rev.  Barnett  H.  Hart   787 

Emmett  U.  Aumiller,  Ex-County  Supt.  of  Schools 7<ji 

S.  S.  Bloom,  Member  General  Assembly  of  Ohio ~<)S 

Rev.  Roy  Dunkelberger,  Missionary 806 

Daniel  Fleisher,  Supt.  Lancaster  County  Schools 808 

Milton  B.  Gibson,  Noted  Manufacturer 812 

John  L.  McCaskey,  Inventor   S_>0 

Samuel  F.  Stambaugh,  Large  Real  Estate  Dealer S46 

Albert  H.  Stites,  State  Senator  South  Dakota 848 

Centre  Square  and  Soldiers'  Monument  at  Bloomfield  ....  916 

Blain  Borough  and  Conococheague  Mountain 928 

Jane  ( Smiley)  McCaskey 942 

Duncannon  Borough  and  Juniata  Creek  Road 950 

Sherman's  Creek  near  its  Mouth  at  Duncannon 952 

Clark  M.  Bower,  Member  of  Assembly 969 

Looking  South  from  Liverpool   983 

Marysville  from  Cove  Mountain   100 1 

Millcrstown,  Oldest  Town  in  the  County 101 1 

Millerstown's  World  War  Monument    10 1  S 

Newport,  Perry  County's  Largest  Town  .  . 1024 

Ickesburg  and  Landscape 1052 


PERRY  COUNTY.  Pennsylvania,  is  located  in  the  southern 
central  portion  of  the  state,  just  north  of  the  Kittatinny 
(Blue)  Mountain,  its  southern  boundary  being  within  forty 
miles  of  the  Mason-Dixon  Line,  that  historic  line  which  not  only 
separated  the  states  of  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland,  but  which  he- 
came,  politically,  the  boundary  line  between  the  North  and  the 
South,  on  the  slavery  question.  In  fact,  in  much  of  the  legislation 
appertaining  to  slavery,  this  line  was  the  barrier  against  which  two 
contending  forces  battled,  practically  from  the  time  of  the  forma- 
tion of  the  United  States  until  the  best  blood  of  the  nation  was 
spilled  in  the  four  years  of  war  between  the  States,  1861-65. 

Perry  County  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Juniata  County  ;  on 
the  east  by  the  Susquehanna  River,  across  which  lies  Dauphin 
County;  on  the  south  by  Cumberland  County;  and  on  the  wesl 
by  Franklin  and  Juniata  Counties.  It  contains  564  square  miles. 
according  to  Smull's  Handbook,  the  official  publication  of  the 
commonwealth.  Groff,  in  the  History  of  the  Juniata  and  Susque- 
hanna Yalleys,  gives  the  square  miles  as  480 ;  Claypole,  the  geolo- 
gist, gives  the  number  at  539,  and  Wright,  in  his  History  of  Perry 
County,  makes  the  number  550,  which  show  considerable  variance. 

While  the  size  of  Perry  County  is  relatively  small,  yet  it  is  not 
the  smallest  county  in  Pennsylvania,  by  any  means.  Twenty- 
seven  others  are  smaller  in  area,  but  many  of  them  have  a  vastly 
greater  population.  It  is  larger  than  either  Cumberland  or  Dauphin. 
Perry  County  is  credited  with  564  square  miles.  The  other  coun- 
ties whose  area  is  not  so  great  are  as  follows :  Montour,  130  square 
miles;  Philadelphia,  133;  Delaware,  185;  Union,  305;  Snyder. 
311;  Lehigh,  344;  Lawrence,  360 ;  Lebanon,  360;  Northampton, 
3;_>;  Juniata,  392;  Cameron,  392;  Wyoming,  30;  ;  Mifflin,  398; 
Fulton,  402;  Carbon,  406;  Forest,  423;  Beaver,  429;  Lacka- 
wanna, 451 ;  Sullivan,  458 ;  Columbia.  479  ;  Luzerne,  484;  Mont- 
gomery, 484;  Dauphin,  521;  Cumberland,  528;  Adams,  528; 
Blair,  534,  and  Pike,  544. 

In  population,  eleven  other  counties  of  the  state  have  less.  Ac- 
cording to  the  census  of  1920,  Perry  County's  population  was 
22,875.  The  counties  having  less  are  Cameron,  Pike,  Forest,  Sul- 
livan, Fulton,  Montour,  Wyoming,  Juniata,  Union,  Snyder,  and 




The  United  Slates  Census  Bureau,  in  a  bulletin,  192 1,  classes 
Perry  County  as  one  of  eight  "truly  rural"  counties  in  Pennsyl- 
vania— along  with  Forest,  Ful- 
ton, Juniata,  Pike,  Snyder,  Sulli- 
van, and  Wyoming — for  the  rea- 
son that  the  1920  census  showed 
no  communities  of  2,500  or  over 
in  population.  Were  the  built-up 
sections  at  Newport  in  one  dis- 
trict, instead  of  being  divided  into 
Newport  and  Oliver  Township, 
that  town  would  show  a  greater 
population  than  that  figure.  While 
classed  as  a  rural  county,  Perry 
County  is  within  fifteen  minutes 
of  the  State  Capital,  within  three 
hours  of  Philadelphia  or  the  Capi- 
tal of  the  nation  at  Washington, 
and  within  five  hours  of  New 
York  City.  A  ride  of  a  little 
over  four  hours  and  you  are  at 
the  surf  of  the  great  Atlantic 
Ocean.  The  great  bend  in  the 
river  below  Newport  marks  the 
half-way  point  over  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad,  between  New 
York  and  Pittsburgh. 

According  to  a  bulletin  of  the 
State  Forestry  Department  210 
square  miles  are  wooded  land, 
comprising  134,400  acres,  out  of 
a  total  of  304,640. 

The  seventy-seventh  degree  of 
longitude  west  of  Greenwich 
passes  through  the  county,  cut- 
ting the  townships  of  Rye,  Watts, 
Buffalo,  and  Liverpool,  passing 
the  village  of  Montgomery's 
Ferry,  and  going  through  Liver- 
pool Borough.  On  its  way  through  the  state  it  goes  through 
Hanover  and  passes,  a  short  distance  east  of  Williamsport,  thus 
showing  our  relative  positions  with  towns  in  the  northern  and 
southern  sections.  The  seventy-seventh  degree  also  passes  through 
the  National  Capital.  All  the  Southern  states,  save  small  sections 
of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina,  lie  west  of  it,  an  unusual  fact  to 
many.      The   entire    county   lies   between   the   seventy-sixth    and. 

koto    by   1 1  lick 


Located   on   Sherman's  Creek.     By  it  lay 

the    "Allegheny    Path,"    the    First   Great 

Indian    Trail    to    the    West. 


seventy-eighth  degrees,  and  almosl  all  of  it  between  the  sevent} 
seventh  and  seventy-eighth.    It  lies  between  the  fortieth  and  fort) 
first  degrees  of  latitude.     A  line  drawn  from  Pittsburgh  to  Read- 
ing,  Pennsylvania,  would  pass  through  New  Bloomfield,  and  one 
from  Johnstown  to  Reading,  through  Marysville. 

Considered  in  size,  Perry  County  is  one  of  the  smaller  counties 
of  the  state,  and  yet  it  is  almost  half  of  the  size  of  the  state  of 
Rhode  Island,  and  almost  one-fourth  as  large  as  the  state  of  Dela- 
ware. Its  average  length  is  thirty-fight  miles,  and  its  average 
breadth,  fourteen  miles.  Its  elevation  varies  very  much.  At  the 
mouth  of  the  Juniata  it  is  357.4  feet  above  sea  level,  and  at  the 
Gibson  mill  in  Spring  Township,  it  is  471  feet.  The  old  road  over 
Bower  Mountain,  in  Jackson  Township,  according  to  Claypole,  the 
geologist,  is  950  feet  above  the  valley,  1,350  feet  above  Landis- 
burg,  and  2,000  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea. 

Its  location  is  in  the  Atlantic  slope  of  the  great  Appalachian 
Mountain  system,  of  which  Groff*  says:  "The  construction  of  the 
underground  world  is  so  beautifully  simple  as  a  whole,  and  so 
curiously  complicated  in  details,  that  it  will  ever  stand  the  typical 
district  of  the  Appalachian  Mountain  belt  of  the  Atlantic  sea- 
board." The  shape  of  the  county  resembles  roughly  a  triangle,  or 
rather,  a  pennant.  Its  acreage  is  360,960,  according  to  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture  of  the  State. 

Along  the  eastern  boundary,  where  winds  the  broad  Susque- 
hanna, from  a  point  about  five  miles  above  Liverpool  to  below 
Marysville,  where  the  river  breaks  through  the  Blue  or  Kittatinny 
Mountain,  the  distance  is  twenty-nine  miles,  or  twenty-one  by  air 

*George  G.  Groff,  M.D.,  former  Professor  of  Natural  History,  Bucknell 

Gibson's  Rock.  Gibson's  Rock  is  located  along  the  north  side  of  Sher- 
man's Creek,  three  miles  west  of  Shermansdale.  It  is  a  striking  geological 
formation,  of  which  the  county  has  many,  and  yet  this  is  a  surpassing  one 
in  size  and  interest.  Located  at  the  dividing  line  of  Spring  and  Carroll 
Townships  this  mighty  crag  towers  from  the  bed  of  Sherman's  Creek 
almost  perpendicularly.  West  of  it  the  old  Indian  trail,  known  as  the 
Allegheny  Path,  crossed  the  creek  to  the  northern  side.  Here  the  moun- 
tain evidently  once  breasted  the  creek  and  held  back  waters  which  covered 
several  townships,  according  to  geologists.  Picturesquely  situated,  this 
point  has  long  been  a  mecca  for  campers,  outings,  and  picnics.  Above  it, 
within  sound  of  the  human  voice,  stood  the  famous  Gibson  mansion,  and 
still  stands  the  "Westover"  or  Gibson  mill.  In  that  house  was  born  Chief 
Justice  John  Bannister  Gibson,  Governor  William  Bigler,  and  John  Bern- 
heisel,  representative  in  Congress  from  the  then  Territory  of  Utah.  f,<>\ 
ernor  William  Bigler  had  a  brother,  John  Bigler,  who  was  governor  of 
California  at  the  same  time  that  his  brother  was  governor  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, but  John  Bigler  was  born  at  Landisburg,  where  his  parents  resided. 
prior  to  coming  to  the  Westover  mill  in  1809.  During  the  early  years  of 
the  county's  existence  a  bill  passed  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  making 
Sherman's  Creek  navigable,  and  many  huge  boulders  were  blown  from 
flie  creek's  bottom,  some  within  the  shadow  of  the  great  cliff,  the  drill 
marks  being  yet  distinguishable. 


line.  The  trend  of  the  river  is  from  north  to  south,  with  consid- 
erable bend  to  the  west  at  Duncannon.  The  southern  boundary, 
starting  at  the  Susquehanna  River  from  a  point  seven  miles  north 
of  Harrisburg,  the  capital  of  Pennsylvania,  follows  the  crest  of 
the  Blue  Mountain,  adjoining  Cumberland  County,  for  fifty-three 
miles,  at  an  average  elevation  of  one  thousand  feet  above  the  Cum- 
berland Valley,  to  the  south.  The  course  of  the  mountain  for  the 
first  twenty-two  miles  is  almost  a  straight  line,  due  westward. 
Then  it  curves  back,  northward,  to  Welsh  Hill,  and  makes  a  loop, 
in  which  lies  Green  Valley.  Going  out  again  to  practically  the 
same  line  from  which  it  receded,  to  Pilot  Knob,  it  makes  a  second 
loop— deeper  than  the  first — which  is  the  location  of  Kennedy's 
Valley.  Thereafter  its  course  is  practically  southwest  to  the 
Franklin  County  line  for  over  a  dozen  miles.  The  air  line  dis- 
tance along  the  southern  border  is  thirty-eight  miles. 

The  extreme  western  boundary,  which  borders  Franklin  County, 
is  only  a  little  over  eight  miles,  crossing  a  series  of  mountains, 
described  further  on,  at  very  irregular  intervals.  From  the  north- 
west corner  it  follows  the  crest  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain  to  the 
Juniata  River,  the  first  ten  miles  being  almost  straight  in  a  north- 
eastern direction.  It  then  makes  two  small  offsets  at  the  west  of 
Madison  Township  and  assuming  the  same  general  direction  runs 
"straight  as  a  crow  flies"  to  the  western  bank  of  the  Juniata  River. 
At  this  point  the  line  runs  due  north  for  a  mile  and  a  half,  and 
thence  almost  due  east  about  thirteen  miles  to  the  western  bank  of 
the  Susquehanna  River. 

The  mountains  in  and  surrounding  Perry  County  are  from  six 
hundred  to  twelve  hundred  feet  high,  measured  from  the  valley 
levels  adjoining,  but  are  eight  hundred  to  sixteen  hundred  feet 
above  sea  level.  A  brief  description  of  these  mountains  follows, 
much  of  the  information  being  drawn  from  the  works  of  Professor 
Claypole,  the  geologist: 


Kittatinny  or  Blur  Mountain.  This  mountain  is  known  by  various  names. 
Geographers  term  it  the  Blue  Mountain;  the  pioneers  called  it  the  Kitta- 
tinny Mountain,  derived  from  the  Indian  "Kau-ta-tin-chunk,"  meaning  the 
main  or  principal  mountain  ;  Conrad  Weiser,  the  Indian  interpreter,  inter- 
preted it  as  "the  endless  mountain"  ;  Richard  Peters,  the  provincial  secre- 
tary, in  a  letter  to  Governor  Hamilton,  dated  July  2,  1750,  first  officially 
called  it  "the  Blue  Hills";  the  residents  east  of  the  Susquehanna  called 
it  the  First  Mountain,  and  the  residents  of  the  Cumberland  Valley  called 
and  many  yet  call  it  the  North  Mountain,  as  it  lies  north  of  that  valley. 
In  a  provincial  record  dated  May  6,  1752,  this  mountain  is  called  "Kekach- 
tany"  or  "Endless  Hills,"  the  title  which  the  Delaware  Indians  applied  to 
it.  In  the  Albany  grant  of  July  6,  1754,  for  the  lands  which  now  com- 
prise Perry  County  and  others,  recorded  in  the  provincial  records  of 
February  3,  1755,  it  is  called  the  Kittochtinny  or  Blue  Hills,  by  which  it 
was  known   throughout  provincial  and  colonial  times  in  all  records.     The 


description  at  the  beginning  of  this  chapter  only  applies  to  this  mountain 
in  so  far  as  it  is  the  southern  boundary  of  the  county.  This  Indian  1 
"Kautatinchunk,"  as  quoted  in  some  volumes,  is  said  to  have  been  "Tyan- 
nuntasacta"  by  the  Six  Nations,  and  "Kekachtannin"  by  the  Delaw 
The  name  is  defined  at  one  place  as  meaning  "steadfast  in  storm  and  ever 
true  blue."  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the  old  Indian  name,  Kittatinny,  has 
fallen  somewhat  into  disuse.  Luther  Reily  Kelker,  in  his  History  of 
Dauphin  County,  speaking  of  the  Kittatinny  Mountain  also  being  called 
the  Blue  or  North  Mountain,  said,  "The  Indian  name  alone  should  be 
used;  any  mountain  may  be  blue  at  a  distance,  and  any  one  is  north  of 
some  place." 

These  mountains  (of  the  Appalachian  system)  really  stretch  from  a 
point  not  far  from  Newburgh,  New  York,  on  the  Hudson  River,  across 
New  York  State,  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  Virginia,  and  enter 
North  Carolina  and  Tennessee,  being  broken  by  water  gaps  to  let  through 
the  waters  of  the  Delaware,  the  Lehigh,  the  Schuylkill,  the  Swatara,  the 
Susquehanna,  and  the  Potomac  (at  Harper's  Ferry).  At  the  southern 
part  of  the  county  its  crest-length  of  fifty-three  miles  is  unbroken  by  a 
single  water  gap.  For  seventeen  miles  it  runs,  with  one  small  zigzag, 
parallel  to  Bower  Mountain,  separated  from  it  by  the  steep  and  narrow 
vale  of  the  north  branch  of  Laurel  Run,  which  starts  at  the  Franklin 
County  line.  Both  mountains  run  on  thus  southwestward  through  Franklin 
County,  unite  and  end  before  reaching  Fort  Loudon.  Bower  Mountain  is 
therefore  only  a  return  zigzag  of  Blue  Mountain. 

It  received  its  name  First  Mountain  from  the  early  settlers  of  south- 
eastern Pennsylvania,  especially  those  who  built  their  cabins  along  the 
Susquehanna  River  at  Columbia,  Marietta,  and  Harrisburg,  and  had  occa- 
sion to  go  up  the  river  in  canoes  through  the  water  gaps.  The  first  moun- 
tain they  passed  by  was  this  mountain,  hence  the  name,  First  Mountain. 
The  second  was  Cove  Mountain,  and  from  the  Susquehanna  to  the  Lehigh 
it  has  retained  the  name  of  Second  Mountain  ever  since;  the  third  was 
the  Sharp  Mountain  of  Schuylkill  County,  which  traverses  Dauphin  County, 
but  does  not  quite  reach  the  Susquehanna  River;  the  fourth  was  Peters' 
Mountain,  opposite  Duncannon.  Here,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata  the 
numerals  stopped,  as  the  mountains  farther  up,  Berry's  and  Buffalo,  did 
not  run  in  the  same  general  direction. 

In  September,  1742,  David  Zeisberger,  the  missionary,  and  a  party  of 
friends,  among  whom  was  Conrad  Weiser,  on  their  way  from  the  settled 
part  of  the  province  "came  to  a  ridge  of  forest-crowned  mountains,  across 
which  led  a  blind  trail,  full  of  loose,  sharp  stones,  and  close  to  high  rocks 
the  rugged  sides  of  which  rendered  horseback  riding  exceedingly  danger- 
ous. The  mountains  being  without  a  name,  Conrad  Weiser  called  them 
'The  Thiirnstein,'  in  honor  of  Zinzendorf.  They  were  the  parallel  chains 
of  the  Blue  Ridge,  now  known  as  the  Second,  Third,  and  Peters'  Moun- 

The  western  end  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  Conococheague  Mountain, 
Round  Top,  Little  Round  Top,  Rising  Mountain,  Amberson  Ridge,  Bower 
Mountain,  and  Middle  or  Sherman  Mountain,  named  in  order  from  north- 
west to  southeast,  across  the  western  end  of  the  county,  are  all  in  a  way 
zigzags  of  different  lengths  of  one  range.  The  following  description  from 
Claypole  is  given  verbatim : 

"A  woodsman  can  enter  Perry  County  from  Franklin  County  on  the 
rocks  at  the  top  of  the  West  Tuscarora  Mountain,  and  walk  along  the 
rocky  crest  of  this  range,  alternately  towards  the  northeast  and  towards 
the  southwest,  for  a  total  distance  of  thirty-live  miles,  reentering  Franklin 
County  from  the  crest  of  Bower   Mountain,  only  three  miles  across  from 


the  place  where  he  left  it.  In  all  this  distance  he  will  keep  at  nearly  the 
same  elevation,  say  1,600  feet  above  ocean  level,  except  at  three  points, 
where  the  wall  on  the  top  of  which  he  is  traveling  is  broken  down  to  its 
base  by  small  streams.  One  of  these  water  gaps  is  cut  through  the  West 
Tuscarora  Mountain;  a  second  is  made  by  the  head  of  Sherman's  Creek, 
which  cuts  through  Rising  Mountain;  the  third  is  made  by  Houston's  Run 
through  the  north  leg  of  Bower  Mountain.  Everywhere  else  along  the 
line  he  will  find  the  sharp  crested  mountain  unbroken  by  gaps,  with  steep 
rock-covered  slopes  or  even  cliffs  always  on  his  right  hand,  and  a  gentler, 
smoother,  but  still  quite  steep  slope  on  his  left  hand.  When  he  turns  the 
east  end  of  a  zigzag  he  will  see  the  mountain  crest  make  a  long  slope 
downward  into  the  valleys  of  Perry  County;  and  when  he  turns  the  west 
ends  of  the  zigzag,  he  will  be  on  boldly  scarped  knobs  overlooking  the 
shale  and  limestone  valleys  of  Franklin  County.  On  these  knobs  he  will 
always  reach  a  somewhat  higher  elevation  above  tide.  Round  Top  and 
Little  Round  Top  are  simply  the  southwestward  looking  ends  of  two  of 
the  zigzags  rather  more  strongly  pronounced  than  the  others." 

The  district  enclosed  by  these  mountains  is  peculiarly  isolated  from 
travel,  except  along  the  river.  While  the  extreme  western  part  of  the 
county  is  bound  by  this  series  of  mountain  ranges,  yet  the  traveler  can  go 
through  to  Amberson  Valley,  Franklin  County,  by  utilizing  the  second 
narrows  and  the  break  through  Bower's  Mountain. 

Tuscarora  Mountain.  The  eastern  end  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain 
forms  a  range  alone,  along  its  crest  for  a  distance  of  twenty-one  miles 
runs  the  boundary  line  which  separates  Perry  from  Juniata  County. 
Almost  straight  and  continuous,  it  is  broken  by  a  ravine  opposite  Ickes- 
burg.  A  small  stream  flows  through  this  ravine,  draining  a  small  glen  in 
the  heart  of  the  mountain,  three  miles  in  length  and  a  half-mile  in  width. 
At  this  point  the  mountain  has  two  crests,  the  county  line  following  the 
southern.  This  mountain  slopes  gently  at  both  ends.  In  Gordon's  His- 
tory of  Pennsylvania  and  Belknap's  Gazetteer  of  Pennsylvania,  both  of 
which  were  published  in  1832,  the  Tuscarora  is  referred  to  as  Tussey's 
Mountain,  in  these  words,  "The  Juniata  River  enters  Perry  County  through 
Tussey's  Mountain."  There  is  a  mountain  by  that  name  farther  up  the 
state,  but  as  these  two  historians  called  the  Tuscarora  "Tussey's  Moun- 
tain" it  may  have  been  known  to  many  others  by  that  name  and  hence  the 
resultant  confusion  of  pioneer  and  Indian  history  and  legend. 

Tiik  Hill  Ranges  Within. 

Surrounded  by  mountains  and  the  Susquehanna  River  and  penetrated 
from  the  east  to  a  small  extent  by  other  mountains  the  interior  of  Perry 
County  is  an  extensive  wedge-shaped  area  of  open  country,  traversed  by 
many  ranges  of  hills,  which  vary  from  two  hundred  to  five  hundred  feet 
above  the  levels  of  the  streams  which  drain  them.  Some  of  these  hills 
are  cultivated  in  common  with  the  lower  soil,  a  prominent  and  extensive 
example  being  the  Middle  Ridge,  which  extends  ten  miles  west  from 

Raccoon  Ridcjc.  A  ridge  in  Tuscarora  Township,  starting  some  dis- 
tance from  the  river.  At  Donally's  Mills  it  is  broken  by  a  gap  through 
which  flows  the  south  branch  of  Raccoon  Creek. 

Ore  Ridge.  A  ridge  paralleling  the  Tuscarora  Mountain  at  its  base, 
comparatively  low  and   located  within  Tuscarora  Township. 

Hominy  Ridge.  The  southern  boundary  of  the  western  half  of  Tusca- 
rora Township.  It  is  of  Chemung  shale,  which  Claypole  says  is  among 
the  poorest,  adding  "of  all  the  Chemung  districts  that  on  Hominy  Ridge 


is  the  most  uninviting.    High,  steep  and  rough,  it  presents  little  to  attract 
the  farmer  and  the  wonder  arises  why  so  much  of  il  is  cleared." 

Umestone  Ridge.  A  wooded  ridge  starting-  at  the  Juniata  River  below 
Bailey's  Station,  on  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad,  in  Miller  Township,  and 
extending  westward  through  the  county  to  the  Madison  Township  line, 
forming  the  boundary  between  Miller  and  Oliver  Townships  and  -<  pa 
rating  Spring  and  Tyrone  from  Saville.  Even  west  of  that  its  formation 
exists,  to  the  western  end  of  the  county,  but  it  is  more  broad  and  is  cul- 
tivated. North  of  Andersonburg  and  Centre  it  is  two  and  a  half  miles 
broad.  From  New  Bloomfield  to  the  Juniata  it  has  double  and  at  some 
places  triple  crests.  Limestone  generally  follows  its  southern  surface. 
The  U.  S.  Geological  Survey  names  this  ridge,  Hickory  Ridge,  and  the 
northern  crest,   Buffalo   Ridge. 

Mulianoy  Ridge.  Mahanoy  Ridge  starts  near  the  Juniata  River,  in  Mil- 
ler Township,  at  a  point  between  Iroquois  and  Losh's  Run  stations,  on  the 
Pennsylvania  Railroad,  and  traverses  Miller,  Centre,  and  Spring  Town- 
ships. At  four  points  in  Miller  and  Centre  Townships  it  is  broken  by 
water  gaps.  Between  Green  Park  and  Landisburg  it  zigzags,  coming  to  an 
abrupt  incline  at  the  latter  place  in  a  promontory  known  as  Bell's  Hill. 

Dick's  Hill.  This  ridge  starts  in  Miller  Township,  almost  five  miles 
west  of  the  Juniata  River,  and  becomes  from  that  point  the  boundary  line 
between  Miller  and  Wheatfield  Townships.  It  separates  Wheatfield  and 
Carroll  Townships  from  Centre  and  continues  into  Spring  Township,  ter- 
minating at  a  point  east  of  a  line  between  Landisburg  and  Bridgeport,  be- 
ing known  as  Pisgah  Ridge  after  leaving  the  Wheatfield  Township  line. 
Its  central  portion  is  shown  in  old  maps  as  Iron  Ridge,  and  is  sometimes 
locally  known  as  Rattlesnake  Hill.  This  ridge  was  probably  known  as 
Dick's  Hill  for  its  entire  length  originally,  as  it  is  mentioned  as  being 
crossed  by  the  old  Indian  trail  to  the  West  as  early  as  1803,  by  a  woman 
then  100  years  old,  as  will  be  noted  in  our  chapter  devoted  to  "Trails, 
Roads,  and  Highways."  From  its  eastern  gap,  through  which  flows  kittle 
Juniata  Creek,  one  of  the  three  earliest  churches  took  its  name — the  Dick's 
Gap  Church,  long  since  gone  to  decay.  This  church  was  not  located  along 
Dick's  Hill  however,  but  along  Mahanoy  Ridge,  a  short  distance  north. 
Dick's  Hill  was  also  the  site  of  two  pioneer  industries,  Perry  Furnace  and 
Montebello  Furnace.  Claypole  says,  "Curving  round  sharply  it  sweeps  for 
almost  twenty  miles  under  the  name  of  'Little  Mountain'  to  the  Susque- 
hanna River  at  Marysville." 

Pisgah  Ridge.     See  Dick's  Hill,  immediately  preceding. 

Pine  Hill.  This  ridge  starts  in  Carroll  Township  and  runs  east,  forming 
the  dividing  line  between  Rye  and  Wheatfield.  It  is,  in  fact,  an  extension 
of  the  Cove  Mountain. 

Buck  Hills.  South  of  New  Germantown,  in  Toboyne  Township,  a  low 
range  called  Buck  Hills  rises  gradually,  but  irregularly,  until  it  merges 
into  Rising  Mountain. 

Chestnut  Hills.  The  Chestnut  Hills  rise  in  Madison  Township,  west  of 
Centre,  run  through  Jackson  and  Toboyne,  merge  into  Amberson  Ridge, 
their  ascension  being  gradual. 

Round  Top.  Right  after  leaving  the  county  the  Conococheague  Moun- 
tain turns  sharply  and  reenters  the  county,  forming  Pound  Top,  which 
commands  the  head  of  Sherman's  Valley  and  is  a  conspicuous  object  for 
many  miles.  Its  course  is  short,  however,  and  zigzaging  again,  it  passes 
over  the  county  line  to  the  southwest,  with  a  southeast  dip,  and  continues 
for  about  twelve  miles  as  a  range  known  as  Dividing  Mountain,  as  it  di- 
vides Path  Valley  and  Amberson  Valley,  in  Franklin  County. 

Dividing  Mountain.     See  Round  Top. 


Little  Rount  Top.    Located  in  Toboyne  Township,  south  of  Round  Top. 

Rising  Mountain.  Returning  from  its  long  lap  into  Franklin  County  the 
mountain  again  reenters  Perry  County  and  forms  the  high,  broad,  stony 
ridge  known  as  Rising  Mountain,  lying  southwest  of  New  Germantown. 
To  the  east  lie  Buck  Hills,  which  rise  gradually  into  a  mountain,  hence 
the  name,   Rising  Mountain. 

Amberson  Ridge.  After  Rising  Mountain  crosses  into  Franklin  it  laps 
and  again  crosses  the  line  into  Perry,  being  then  known  as  Amberson 
Ridge.  It  meets  the  great  fold  of  Bower  Mountain  and  forms  a  high  knob 
overlooking  Amberson  Valley,  Franklin  County. 

Bower  Mountain.  Bower  Mountain  is  a  great  level-crested  ridge  rising 
near  Loysville,  passing  through  Madison  Township,  gently  sloping  upward 
through  Jackson  Township,  and  on  entering  Toboyne  it  forms  a  small 
zigzag  and  separates  into  two  parts  which  are  unnamed.  Named  after 
Nathaniel  Bower,  whose  200-acre  farm  saddled  its  crest. 

Mount  Pisgah.  The  highest  elevation  of  the  little  range  of  Pisgah 
Mountains  is  in  Carroll  Township.  Opposite  these  mountains,  near  where 
Sherman's  Creek  breaks  through  at  Gibson's  Rock,  was  born  John  Ban- 
nister Gibson,  once  Chief  Justice  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Pennsylvania. 
It  is  also  known  locally  as   Pisgah  Hill. 

Little  Mountain.  A  small  ridge  lying  north  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  in 
Rye  and  Carroll  Townships  and  a   short  distance  into   Spring  Township. 

Slaughterbeck  Hill.  Sometimes  called  Michael's  Ridge.  A  conspicuous 
promontory  in  Pfoutz  Valley,  Greenwood  Township.  It  blocks  entrance 
from  the  west,  rising  above  every  other  range  in  the  township.  Claypole 
says  of  it:  "It  is  really  a  fragment  of  the  great  Tuscarora  anticlinal  which 
has  been  cut  off  by  the  Juniata  River  from  the  main  body  and  constitutes 
an  outlier.  In  truth  the  whole  of  the  valley  is  a  continuation  eastward  of 
the  anticlinal  ridge  of  the  Tuscarora,  eroded  by  long  ages  of  frost,  rain 
and  sunshine." 

Michael's  Ridge.     See  Slaughterbeck's  Hill,   immediately  preceding. 

Wildcat  Ridge.  A  high  and  rugged  ridge  separating  Perry  and  Pfoutz 
Valleys,  in  Greenwood  township.  It  enters  Liverpool  Township  for  a 
short  distance,  but  dies  down,  the  two  valleys  here  being  less  distinct  than 
farther  west.  Rough  and  rocky  at  places,  where  wildcats  once  had  a  ren- 
dezvous, hence  the  name. 

Turkey  Ridge.  This  high  ridge,  at  places  farmed  to  its  very  top,  but 
mostly  wooded,  is  the  dividing  line  between  Perry  and  Juniata  Counties  at 
Liverpool  Township.  Like  Wildcat  Ridge  it  loses  much  of  its  steepness  as 
it  approaches  the  Susquehanna  River.  In  pioneer  years  noted  as  a  great 
wild  turkey  territory,  from  which  comes  the  name,  Turkey  Ridge. 

Half  Fall  Mountain.  In  provincial  and  colonial  records,  frequently  re- 
ferred to  as  Half  Fall  Hills.  It  lies  between  Buffalo  and  Watts  Town- 
ships, its  crest  being  the  township  line.  It  is  an  extension,  across  the 
Juniata,  of  the  converging  Mahanoy  and  Limestone  Ridges,  the  limestone 
rocks  forming  almost  a  complete  dam  across  the  river,  producing  a  "half- 
falls"  from  which  the  mountain  takes  its  name.  It  spans  the  territory 
completely  between  the  Juniata  and  Susquehanna  Rivers,  being  crossed  by 
a  public  highway.  Below  Montgomery's  Ferry  it  ends  in  a  conspicuous 
bluff,  near  the  top  of  which  is  a  cave  supposed  to  have  once  been  the 
hiding  place  of  Simon  Girty,  the  renegade,  but  which  records  practically 
confute.  (See  chapter  on  Simon  Girty.)  On  a  promontory  of  the  moun- 
tain here  is  a  protruding  rock,  which  viewed  coming  from  the  north  over 
the  Susquehanna  Trail,  presents  the  profile  of  an  Indian  as  perfect  as  can 
be  found,  and  one  which  only  the  Creator,  that  greatest  of  artists,  could 


Mount  Patrick.  A  name  sometimes  applied  to  the  end  of  Berry's  Moun- 
tain at  the  village  of  that  name. 

North  Mountain.    See  Kittatinny  Mountain. 

First  Mountain.     See  Kittatinny  Mountain. 

Second  Mountain.     See  Kittatinny  Mountain. 

Third  Mountain.     See  Kittatinny  Mountain. 

Fourth  Mountain.  See  Kittatinny  Mountain.  This  is  also  known  as 
Peters'  Mountain  and  is  located  opposite  to  Duncannon,  the  Cove  Moun- 
tain being  in  reality  an  extension  thereof,  the  Susquehanna  water  gap 
cutting  through. 

Peters'  Mountain.    See  preceding  paragraph. 

Mount  Dempsey.  A  high  promontory  of  the  Blue  or  Kittatinny  Moun- 
tain, where  it  laps,  located  opposite  Landisburg,  in  Tyrone  Township.  One 
of  the  most  picturesque  spots  in  the  county.  An  Indian  trail,  later  used  as 
a  bridle  path,  passes  its  base. 

Buck  Ridge.  A  "breaking  down"  of  Rising  Mountain,  in  Toboyne  Town- 

Big  Knob.    A  mountain  ridge  north  of  Blain. 

Little  Knob.    Twin  sister  to  Big  Knob,  north  of  Blain. 

"The  Crossbar."  A  wooded  ridge  running  from  Big  Knob,  north  of 
Blain,  to  the  Tuscarora  Mountain. 

Berry's  Mountain  and  Buffalo  Mountain.  These  two  mountains  are  lo- 
cated in  the  northeast  section  of  the  county,  are  broken  by  water  gaps  by 
the  Susquehanna  at  Mt.  Patrick  and  Liverpool,  are  seven  and  eight  miles 
long,  respectively,  and  unite  in  a  single  elevated  knob  on  the  east  bank  of 
the  Juniata  River  a  mile  above  Newport,  known  as  Round  Top,  which  can 
be  plainly  seen  from  east  of  the  Susquehanna.  Both  of  them  have  per- 
fectly straight  sharp  crests,  long  gentle  slopes  towards  the  cove  which  they 
form,  and  outer  terraces,  that  of  Berry's  facing  south  and  that  of  Buffalo 
facing  northwest.  Unlike  the  sharp  ellipse  of  Cove  Mountain,  that  of 
Berry's  Mountain  is  broken  by  a  gap  nearly  to  its  base  at  its  western  end 
on  the  southern  side,  by  a  small  stream  extending  into  the  Juniata.  But  a 
high  divide  behind  the  gap  virtually  closes  the  upper  end  of  the  cove. 
Berry's  Mountain  runs  on  through  Dauphin  County  and  returns  as  Peters' 
Mountain,  then  Cove  Mountain.  Buffalo  Mountain  also  reappears  on  the 
east  side  of  the  Susquehanna  under  the  name  Mahantango  Mountain,  and 
along  its  crest  runs  the  north  county  line  of  Dauphin  to  the  northwest 
corner  of  Schuylkill  County.  Buffalo  Mountain  separates  Buffalo  Town- 
ship from  Greenwood  and  Liverpool  Townships. 

As  the  Dauphin  County  anthracite  coal  basin  is  enclosed  at  its  west  end 
by  the  Cove  Mountain  in  Perry  County,  so  is  the  Wiconiseo  anthracite 
coal  basin  enclosed  by  Berry's  and  Buffalo  Mountains  in  Perry  County. 
The  two  coves  resemble  each  other  closely  in  shape,  size  and  position. 
Within  the  cove  formed  by  Buffalo  and  Berry  Mountains  is  located  Hun- 
ter's Valley,  the  northern  half  of  Buffalo  Township.  Berry  Mountain, 
it  is  said,  was  named  after  a  family  by  the  name  of  Berry  which  resided 
at  its  base,  below  Mt.  Patrick,  but  as  it  bears  the  same  name  east  of  the 
Susquehanna  it  probably  derived  its  name  from  the  fact  that  immense 
quantities  of  berries  have  always  grown  along  its   sides. 

Cove  Mountain.  The  Cove  Mountain,  lying  between  Duncannon  and 
Marysville,  is  a  sharply  recurved  ridge,  one  thousand  feet  higher  than  the 
water  level  of  the  water  gap  below,  like  the  cut-off  prow  of  a  canoe- 
shaped  basin— the  Dauphin  County  anthracite  coal  basin,  being  the  west 
end  of  a  long-pointed  ellipse,  the  east  end  of  which  is  Carbon  County,  be- 
yond the  Lehigh  River.  The  Susquehanna  River  crosses  it  diagonally  at 
the  east,  the  northern  crest  being  only  five  miles  in  length  and  the  southern 


ten  miles.  The  crest  at  the  extreme  west  is  known  as  "the  horseshoe"  to 
sportsmen  and  overlooks  the   fertile  Sherman's  Valley  to  the  west. 

Conococheague  Mountain.  A  beautiful  mountain  is  the  Conococheague. 
It  forms  a  long,  straight,  even-crested  ridge  from  Madison  Township, 
where  it  starts,  to  its  termination  at  Round  Top,  in  Toboyne  Township, 
without  break  or  gap  of  any  character.  Over  it  pass  two  roads,  one  lead- 
ing north  from  New  Germantown  to  Horse  Valley  and  Juniata  County, 
and  the  other  west  over  the  bend  in  the  range  to  Concord,  Franklin  County. 
At  its  east  end  it  is  a  perfect  arch,  but  to  the  west  it  becomes  a  south- 
dipping  range.  The  Indian  word,  Conococheague,  is  recorded  as  meaning 
"it  is  indeed  a  long  way." 

lUtffalo  Ridge.  The  name  applied  to  the  ridge  south  of  the  Little  Buf- 
falo  Creek.     Also  known  as  Furnace  Hills. 

Furnace  I  /ills.     See  preceding  paragraph. 

Bell's  I /ill.  The  promontory  ending  of  Mahanoy  Ridge  in  Spring  Town- 

Quaker  Hill.     An  outlying  hill  of  the  Pisgah  Ridge  in  Spring  Township. 

Gallovi's  Hill.  In  "Little  Germany,"  John  Faus  (Foose),  known  as  the 
"King  of  Germany"  on  account  of  his  large  land  holdings,  took  up  300 
acres  on  June  12,  1794,  with  which  he  was  assessed  in  1820,  the  date  of 
the  county's  birth,  and  on  which  he  had  erected  a  sawmill  and  a  distillery. 
A  tavern  was  kept  on  the  old  mansion  farm  until  1827.  The  sign  of  this 
tavern,  was  an  iron  ring  suspended  from  an  arm  attached  to  a  high  post, 
so  suggestive  of  a  gallows  that  the  place  came  to  be  known  as  "Gallows 

Welsh  Hill.  The  point  of  the  Blue  Mountain  separating  Kennedy's  Val- 
ley from  Green  Valley,  in  Tyrone  Township. 

Pilot  Knob.  Pilot  Knob  is  the  highest  spur  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue 
Mountain,  and  is  located  not  far  from  Landisburg. 

Middle  Ridge.  The  ridge  running  west  from  Newport,  through  Oliver 
and  Juniata  Townships,  once  wooded,  but  now  a  fertile  section  of  farm 

Crawley  Hilt.  A  high  hill  in  Spring  Township,  an  outlying  knoll  of  the 
Dick's  Hill  range,  which  derived  its  name  from  a  man  named  Crawley,  who, 
it  is  said,  was  murdered  upon  it  long  years  ago  for  his  money.  His  remains 
were  buried  near  the  road  which  crosses  the  hill.  But  a  few  rods  from 
this  road,  on  the  south  side  of  the  hill,  stood  a  very  small  stone  school- 
house  in  the  shadow  of  a  thicket,  and  tradition  tells  of  the  teacher  raising 
a  window  sash  to  get  a  rod  without  leaving  the  building,  for  it  appears 
that  at  one  time  the  rod  was  a  necessary  accessory  to  every  schoolhouse. 
Tradition  may  be  right,  but  the  writer  cannot  conceive  of  any  Perry 
County  boy  allowing  them  to  remain  so  handy  longer  than  twenty-four 
hours.  A  frame  structure  later  took  its  place,  but  it  was  abandoned.  Be- 
tween Crawley  Hill  and  Mahanoy  Hill  nestles  the  famous  settlement 
known  as  "Little  Germany." 

Iron  Ridge.  The  name  once  applied  to  the  ridge  just  south  of  Crawley 
Hill,  in  Spring  Township. 

Tiii':  Kittatinny  Mountain  Gaps. 

Across  the  crest  of  the  Kittatinny  Mountain,  where  it  drops, 
(if ten  slightly,  are  a  number  of  famous  gaps  or  passes,  some  of 
which  were  the  locations  of  old  Indian  trails  and  are  mentioned  in 
provincial  and  colonial  records.  Starting  from  the  Susquehanna 
River  these  gaps  in  the  order  named  are  Lamb's,  Miller's,  Myer's, 
Croghan's    (now    called    Sterrett's),    Crane's,    Sharon's,    Long's, 


Waggoner's,  and  IVlcClure's.  A  concise  description  of  each  fol- 

Holt's  Gap.     A  small  gap  in  the  mountain  at  ,1  poinl  jusl  wesl  of   MEai 
ville,  little  more  than  a  great  depression. 

L,amb's  Gap.  Crosses  the  mountain  almost  opposite  what  was  known  as 
I  Liftman's  mill,  in  Rye  Township,  now  C,1envale.  On  the  Cumberland  side 
it  is  the  boundary  line  between  Hampden  and  Silver  Spring  Townships. 
Elevation,  1,018  feet. 

Miller's  Gap.  Crosses  the  mountain  at  a  point  a  short  distance  south 
west  of  Keystone,  the  road  coming  out  at  Wertzville,  Cumberland  Count) 
Elevation,  1,080  feet. 

Mxcr's  Gap.     Almost  directly  south  of  Crier's  Point.     Crossed  by  a  1 1 

road,   little  better  than   a  trail. 

Dean's  Gap.  The  road  from  Perry  County  leading  up  to  this  gap,  which 
lies  almost  two  miles  east  of  Sterrett's  Gap,  leaves  a  point  known  as  "the 
narrows"  and  runs  in  a- southeastern  direction;  another  road  from  the 
same  point  runs  towards  Sterrett's  Gap,  in  a  southwestern  direction.  There 
is  a  considerable  farm  on  the  mountaintop  at  this  gap,  where  Dr.  Dean 
lung  resided,  having  a  considerable  medical  practice  in  both  Perry  and 
Cumberland  Counties.  The  road  on  the  Cumberland  side  trended  in  the 
direction  of    Mechanicsburg. 

Croghan's  or  Sterrett's  Gap.  Of  all  the  gaps  across  the  Kittatinny  tins 
one  is  the  easiest  for  travel  and  the  most  noted  historically.  Through  it 
leads  the  state  highway  from  New  Bloomfield  to  Carlisle.  Across  it  ran 
the  earliest  Indian  trail  and  in  pioneer  times  the  old  Allegheny  Path. 
Over  it  passed  the  great  Indian  chiefs,  the  early  interpreters,  the  early 
traders  and  the  pioneers  with  their  meagre  belongings  and  their  first  do- 
mestic animals.  Through  its  then  precipitous  passes  came  those  first  early 
missionaries  of  Scotch-Irish  Calvinism  carrying  to  these  inland  forests 
the  message  of  the  Man  of  Galilee,  and  across  its  picturesque  ravines  to- 
day roll  hundreds  of  motor  cars  on  pleasure  and  business  bent.  From  a 
point  of  greater  elevation  several  hundred  feet  west  can  he  seen,  looking 
northward,  the  historic  and  picturesque  Sherman's  Valley,  nestling  be- 
n  the  mountains,  one  of  the  famous  coves  of  Pennsylvania,  and  look- 
in-  southward,  the  more  extensive  and  productive  Cumberland  Valley  in 
all  its  beauty.  The  elevation  of  Sterrett's  Gap  is  925  feet.  As  late  as 
1877,  according  to  Beach  Nichols'  Atlas  of  Perry,  Juniata,  and  Mifflin 
Counties,  there  was  a  post  office  located  there  known  as  Sterrett's  Gap. 
At  that  time  there  was  also  a  store  and  tavern  there.  Authorities  give 
the  name  of  the  first  tavern  keeper  as  a  man  namel  Puller.  When  the 
county  was  created,  in  1820,  Daniel  Gallatin  was  the  tavern  keeper.  After 
the  middle  of  the  last  century  there  was  a  new  hostelry  built,  where  came 
the  well-to-do  from  Carlisle,  Baltimore  and  other  places,  on  leisure  bent. 
There  came  happy  throngs,  and  there  were  scenes  of  gayety  by  day  and 
sounds  of  revelry  by  night,  but  with  the  growing  popularity  of  the 
resorts  and  the  easy  methods  of  travel  its  fame  as  a  resort  passed  and  a 
struggling  lone  tavern  remained.     In  fact,  there  was  a  road  house  there  until 

very  recent  years,  at  times  being  a  hostelry  of  g 1  reputation  and  again 

being  a  rendezvous  for  those  of  questionable  reputation,  its  clientele  often 
changing  with  the  change  of  proprietors.  This  gap  was  originally  known 
as  Croghan's  Gap,  by  reason  of  George  Croghan's  residing  near.  Croghan 
was  prominent  in  provincial  all  aits.  An  early  order  of  survey  was  taken 
out  for  the  lands  at  this  point  by  John  Armstrong,  who  sold  it  to  Nathan 
Andrews.  It  was  returned  to  the  land  office  June  21,  1788,  in  the  name  of 
Ralph  Sterrett,  who  with  his  brothers  John  and  James  Sterrett,  warranted 


408  acres  along  the  crest  of  the  mountain,  extending  over  three  miles  east 
from  the  gap.  Accordingly  it  came  to  be  known  as  Sterrett's  Gap  and  so 
it  remains,  though  the  Sterretts  are  gone  long  since.  Descendants  of  the 
Sterretts  sold  the  lands  to  William  Ramsey,  of  Carlisle.  In  a  mortgage 
dated  June  26,  1830,  the  Ramsey  lands  in  Rye  Township  included  "850 
acres  of  land,  two  fulling  mills,  a  woolen  factory,  three  dwelling  houses, 
a  wagonmaker  shop,  stable,  shed  and  part  of  tavern  house  and  part  of 
orchard  at  same  place."  (Part  of  the  tavern  and  orchard  were  in  Cum- 
berland County,  the  former  being  built  upon  the  line.)  By  right  of  mort- 
gage James  Buchanan,  later  President  of  the  United  States,  became  owner 
of  a  part  of  these  lands  in  1835  and  was  assessed  with  250  acres  and  a 
fulling  mill. 

^  The  mountain  near  the  gap  slopes  so  gradually  that  the  approach  from 
Shermansdale  and  Fishing  Creek  is  very  gentle,  and  abundant  springs  of 
water  from  high  levels  are  available  at  the  very  top.  There,  upon  a  small 
plateau,  met  four  early  highways  from  divergent  points,  which  made  it  an 
early  centre  of  trade.  And  thus,  at  the  dawn  of  the  past  century,  we  find 
an  early  trading  post.  There  were  stores  for  exchange  and  sale  and  shops 
for  repairs,  a  tavern  where  man  and  beast  were  fed  and  cared  for,  and 
there  dwelt  an  early  physician,  Dr.  Kaechline,  until  after  a  severe  and  in- 
tensely cold  midwinter  night  his  frozen  body  was  found  near  the  foot  of 
the  eastern  slope,  while  a  riderless  horse  at  the  gap  stables  gave  the  alarm, 
too  late.  Additional  facts  may  be  found  in  the  chapters  devoted  to  Trails, 
Roads  and  Highways,  and  Carroll  Township.  Something  of  George  Cro- 
ghan's  life  also  appears  in  the  early  chapters  of  this  book. 

Crane's  Gap.  This  gap  crosses  the  mountain  about  three  miles  west  of 
Sterrett's  at  an  elevation  of  1,300  feet.  The  road  enters  Cumberland 
County  in  North  Middleton  Township.  At  an  early  day  it  was  but  a  foot- 
path, but  in  1848  was  made  a  public  road,  now  long  abandoned. 

Sharon's  Gap.  A  small  gap  about  a  mile  west  of  Crane's  gap,  called 
after  the  original  warrantee  of  the  lands.  There  was  once  a  road  there, 
but  it  too  has  been  long  since  abandoned. 

Long's  Gap.  This  gap  is  directly  south  from  Falling  Springs,  where 
William  Long,  on  February  3,  1794,  warranted  400  acres  of  land.  Its  ele- 
vation is  1,390  feet.  To  the  older  generation  it  is  known  as  the  "Forty 
Shillings'  Gap,"  tradition  having  it  that  a  murder  was  once  committed 
there  for  the  purpose  of  robbery  and  that  the  culprit  got  but  forty  shil- 
lings. As  our  monetary  system  has  had  no  shillings  in  circulation  since 
our  divorce  from  George  III  the  murder  was  likely  a  provincial  tragedy. 

Waggoner's  Gap.  Crosses  the  mountain  south  of  Oak  Grove  Furnace 
or  Bridgeport.  It  is  mentioned  in  early  provincial  annals.  The  road  from 
New  Germantown,  via  Landisburg,  leads  through  this  gap,  and  was  known 
as  the  Baltimore  Pike  in  the  days  when  teaming  to  Baltimore  with  farm 
produce  was  an  industry. 

McClure's  Gap.  McClure's  Gap  crosses  the  mountain  at  Welsh  Hill, 
southwest  of  Landisburg.  There  is  really  very  little  gap  to  the  Perry 
County  side  from  the  hollow  on  the  Cumberland  side,  formed  by  the  folds 
in  the  mountain.  It  is  crossed  by  a  road  built  in  1821  to  connect  Landis- 
burg, then  the  temporary  county  seat,  with  Newville,  Cumberland  County. 
This  gap  is  mentioned  in  provincial  records  as  early  as  1756.  See  chapter 
on  "Trails  and  Highways." 

Doubling  Gap.  Probably  named  by  reason  of  the  doubling  of  the  moun- 
tain here.  In  a  number  of  early  publications,  one  as  late  as  June  11,  1829, 
however,  it  was  called  Dublin  Gap,  and  the  springs  on  the  Cumberland 
side  were  advertised  as  "Dublin,  Gap  Springs"  as  late  as  1800.  It  was 
first  known  as  McFarlan's  Gap,  as  James  McFarlan  had  located  about  a 


thousand  acres  just  below  the  gap.  Court  records  bear  out  the  fact  thai 
it  was  once  known  as  McParlan's,  as  in  April,  1891,  a  petition  to  the  Cum- 
berland County  court  asked  for  the  laying  out  of  a  road  from  Thomas 
Barnes'  sulphur  spring  in  the  gap,  formerly  known  as  McFarlan's  Cap.  to 
Carlisle.  Doubling  Gap  figures  in  traditions  of  the  first  settlers  and  was  a 
commanding  pass  from  the  Shosshone  Indians  on  the  south,  to  the  fi 
Tuscaroras  in  the  north,  long  before  white  settlers  dared  invade  the  sec- 
tion. During  the  Provincial-Indian  wars,  an  Indian  trail  from  the  Sus 
quehanna,  starting  at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata,  followed  an  almost  direel 
course  westward  across  the  county  territory,  through  Doubling  Gap,  thence 
to  the  mouth  of  Brandy  Run  on  the  Conodoguinet.  Facing  Doubling  Gap 
from  Cumberland  Valley,  the  eye  meets  Round  Knob,  1,400  feet  above 
tidewater.  On  top  of  it  is  Flat  Rock,  one  of  the  most  noted  lookouts  in 
the  whole  range  of  mountains.  From  its  vantage  point  the  whole  Cum- 
berland Valley  lies  before  you,  the  South  Mountain  far  below  and  the 
tortuous  Conodoguinet  wending  its  way  eastward.  During  the  period  from 
1820  to  1846  the  hostelry  known  as  the  Doubling  Gap  Springs  Hotel  was 
in  its  heyday,  and  to  it  came  men  of  note  and  prominence  from  far-off 
points.  With  the  coming  of  the  railroads  and  the  growth  of  seaside  re- 
sorts its  fame  gradually  dwindled  until  it  is  little  known. 

Tuscarora  Mountain  Gaps. 

Unlike  the  Kittatinny  Mountain,  to  the  county's  south,  the  Tus- 
carora Mountain,  along  the  northern  boundary,  has  few  gaps,  and 
only  one  of  importance.  The  gaps  are  mentioned  in  the  report  of 
the  survey  of  i860,  which  was  for  the  purpose  of  locating  the  line 
between  Perry  and  Juniata  Counties. 

Waterford  Gap.  This  is  the  largest  gap  crossing  the  Tuscarora  Moun- 
tain and  the  one  through  which  crossed  that  old-time  trail,  the  Allegheny 
Path.  Through  it  passed  the  red  men  on  their  incursions  in  and  out  of 
Perry  County  territory  and  the  daring  and  intrepid  fellows  who  followed 
them.  Along  this  trail  passed  the  trader,  the  early  postrider,  the  circuit 
rider,  the  pioneer  emigrant  on  his  way  to  the  valley  of  the  Ohio,  and 
through  it  to-day  is  a  highway  on  which  pass  great  touring  cars  of  the 
modern  world.  In  early  annals  it  was  known  as  Bigham's  Gap,  but  is  de- 
scribed here  as  Waterford  Gap,  as  that  is  the  official  name  placed  upon  it 
by  the  County  Line  Commission.  It  is  also  sometimes  called  the  Water- 
ford Narrows.  The  residents  of  the  east  end  of  Horse  Valley  travel  via 
this  gap  in  order  to  trade  at  East  Waterford,  Juniata  County,  their  nearest 
town.  The  public  road  traversing  this  gap  extends  from  East  Waterford 
through  into  Horse  Valley  and  to  New  Germantown. 

Bigham's  Gap.     See  Waterford  Gap,  immediately  preceding. 

Bealetoum  Narrows.  Another  gap  or  break  in  the  Tuscarora  Mountain 
is  located  southeast  of  Honey  Grove,  Juniata  County,  and  is  known  as  the 
Bealetown  Narrows.  These  narrows  permit  easy  access  to  and  from  the 
eastern  portion  of  Liberty  Valley,  the  road  passing  near  the  former  site 
of  the  Mohler  tannery,  and  thence  eastward  by  Walsingham  schoolhouse 
to  Saville  and  Ickesburg. 

Winns'  Gap.  Winns'  Gap  is  located  approximately  two  and  one-half 
miles  east  of  the  Waterford  Gap.  This  gap  is  only  a  slight  depression  in 
the  mountain,  and  according  to  local  gossip  was  frequently  used  by  the  in- 
habitants living  in  the  east  end  of  Horse  Valley  for  travel  into  Tuscarora 
Valley  in  Juniata  County.  Tins  end  of  Horse  Valley  is  sometimes  called 
Kansas  Valley.    Only  a  trail  or  path  crosses  this  gap. 



The  county  of  Perry,  in  itself  a  part  of  two  of  the  most  beau- 
tiful valleys  of  Pennsylvania,  the  Susquehanna  and  Juniata,  has 
within  its  borders  a  number  of  beautiful  and  picturesque  valleys, 
many  of  them  fertile  and  whose  history  dates  back  to  almost  the 
middle  of  the  second  century  past,  when  the  pioneers  braved  the 
untold  dangers  of  the  frontier  to  make  their  homes  here.  A  brief 
description  of  each : 

The  Susquehanna  J 'alley.  The  long,  broad  and  fertile  drainage  area  of 
the  Susquehanna  River,  extending  from  within  New  York  State,  through 
Pennsylvania  to  Maryland,  the  greater  part  of  Perry  County  being  drained 
into  the  Susquehanna  via  Sherman's  Creek,  which  empties  into  it  at  Dun- 
cannon,  and  various  other  streams.  Duncannon  is  located  at  the  most 
western  point  of  the  Susquehanna,  the  river  making  a  sharp  turn  to  the 
southeast  at  that  point. 

The  Juniata  Valley.  The  picturesque  valley  drained  by  the  Juniata 
River,  extending  from  the  Allegheny  Mountains  to  Duncannon,  where  the 
Juniata  flows  into  the  Susquehanna.  Almost  half  of  the  county  is  drained 
by  the  Juniata. 

Sherman's  I 'alley.  Sherman's  Valley  comprises  the  larger  part  of  west- 
ern Perry  County,  being  drained  by  Sherman's  Creek.  It  extends  from 
west  of  New  Germantown  to  Duncannon.  For  several  decades  it  was  at 
the  very  frontier  of  civilization.  Across  it  first  moved  traffic  to  the  west 
of  the  Alleghenies,  when  roads  were  yet  unknown. 

Just  how  Sherman's  Valley  got  its  name  will  always  remain  a  mystery. 
There  is  a  tradition  that  a  trader  by  that  name  was  drowned  while  cross- 
ing Sherman's  Creek,  but  nowhere  is  there  record  to  substantiate  it.  How- 
ever, as  early  as  1750  both  the  creek  and  the  valley  are  referred  to  by  that 
name.  The  first  person  of  that  name  to  patent  land  was  John  Shearman, 
and  the  tract  was  the  first  one  east  of  the  Haas  mill  tract  in  what  is  now 
I 'nm  Township.  Here  Andrew  Berryhill  took  up  331  acres  November  26, 
17(10,  and  it  is  named  on  the  warrant  as  "Sherman's  Valley."  It  was  sold 
to  Isaac  Jones  in  1773  and  he  transferred  it  to  John  Shearman,  whose 
patent  is  dated  November  24,  1781.  While  John  Shearman,  as  stated,  was 
the  first  person  of  that  name  to  patent  land,  the  valley  had  been  named 
long  before  that  and  the  first  settler  may  have  been  only  a  squatter  and 
not  have  patented  land.  In  fact,  when  it  is  referred  to  as  Sherman's  or 
Shearman's  Valley  and  creek  as  early  as  1750  it  was  impossible  to  patent 
land,  as  the  land  office  for  these  lands  was  not  opened  until  February  3, 
1755.  Egle's  "Notes  and  Queries,"  page  454,  says  it  was  so  named  for  the 
original  settler,  but  gives  no  evidence  to  substantiate  the  fact,  yet  the 
writer  is  inclined  to  give  credence  to  that  statement,  as  it  looks  plausible. 
<  )l  actual  substantiation,  however,  there  is  none.  It  is  even  likely  that  the 
original  name  was  Sherman  and  that  Shearman  is  a  German  corruption, 
as  Shearman  has  the  broad  German  sound. 

Page  454,  Egle's  Notes  and  Queries,  says:  "In  going  over  the  files  of 
the  Carlisle  Gazette  from  1787  to  1817  we  find  the  original  spelling  in  all 
references  and  in  official  advertisements— so  named  for  one  of  the  early 
settlers,  Jacob  Shearman." 

Horse  ]' alley.  Horse  Valley  lies  between  the  Tuscarora  and  Conoco- 
cheague  Mountains,  in  western  Perry  County,  within  the  confines  of  To- 
boyne  and  Jackson  Townships.  It  was  so  named  because  the  farmers  of 
Path  Valley,   Franklin   County,  of   which   it  is  an  extension,   used  it  as  a 


pasture  for  their  horses,  before  it  had  been  settled.     It  was  once  known  as 

McSwine's  Valley. 

Little  Illinois  Valley.  This  is  a  small  valley  located  in  Toboyne  Town 
ship.  The  eastern  part  is  cultivated  and  the  western  part  is  wooded.  On 
the  north  it  is  bounded  by  Rising  Mountain  and  Buck  Ridge,  which  is  a 
continuation  of  this  mountain.  On  the  south  is  Amberson  Ridge  and 
Schultz  Ridge,  a  continuation  of  Amberson  Ridge.  It  is  about  seven  miles 
long  and  a  mile  wide.  Brown's  Run  drains  it.  The  western  end  of  this 
valley  is  locally  known  as  Fowler  Hollow. 

Henry's  Valley.  Henry's  Valley  is  located  in  Toboyne  and  Jackson 
Townships,  between  Bower's  Mountain  and  the  Kittatinnj  or  Blue  Moun- 
tain. It  is  over  ten  miles  long  and  merges  into  Sheaffer's  Valley.  It  was 
named  after  John  Henry,  an  early  settler,  who  moved  to  Ohio.  It  is 
watered  by  Laurel  Run. 

Sheaffer's  Valley.  Sheaffer's  Valley  is  located  in  Madison  and  Tyrone 
Townships,  between  Bower's  Mountain  and  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Moun- 
tain, and  is  in  reality  a  continuation  of  Henry's  Valley.  It  is  about  six 
miles  long  and  is  watered  by  Laurel  Run,  in  this  section  sometimes  called 
Patterson's  Run.  In  earlier  years  there,  was  a  preaching  appointment  in 
this  valley,  and  as  so  many  families  named  Sheaffer  resided  in  the  valley 
the  itinerant  missionary,  in  announcing  his  services  referred  to  it  as  Sheaf- 
fer's Valley,  and  the  name  stuck. 

Kennedy's  Valley.  Kennedy's  Valley  is  located  in  Tyrone  Township,  in 
the  cove  formed  by  the  folds  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain,  the 
broad  part  lying  close  to  Landisburg.  Called  after  the  Kennedys,  early 

Green's  Valley.  Green's  Valley  is  also  located  in  Tyrone  Township,  in 
the  small  cove  formed  by  a   fold  of  the  Blue  Mountain. 

Liberty  J 'alley.  Liberty  Valley  lies  east  of  the  watershed  which  runs 
from  the  Conococheague  to  the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  and  between  these 
mountains  in  Madison  Township. 

Raccoon  J 'alley.     The  valley  lying  between  the  Tuscarora  Mountain  and 
Raccoon  Ridge  in  Tuscarora  Township.     Sometimes  termed  the  Tuscarora 
Valley.     It  is  watered  by  Raccoon  Creek,  eleven  miles  in  length. 
Tuscarora  J 'alley.     See  Raccoon  Valley,  immediately  preceding. 
Mahanoy    Valley.      The    valley    in    Miller    Township    located    between 
Mahanoy  Ridge  and  Dick's  Hill. 

Fishing  Creek  Valley.  This  valley  comprises  the  most  o\  Rye  Town- 
ship and  lies  between  the  Blue  Mountain  and  the  Cove  Mountain. 

Buffalo  }' alley.  The  name  given  in  early  provincial  papers  to  the  terri- 
tory drained  by  Buffalo  Creek,  which  rises  in  Liberty  Valley,  Madison 
Township,  and  flows  into  the  Juniata  above  Newport. 

Pfouts  Valley.  The  limestone  valley  which  extends  from  the  Juniata 
River  to  the  Susquehanna  River  and  lies  between  Wildcat  Ridge  and  Tur- 
key Hills,  or  the  Juniata  County  line.  One  of  the  earliest  points  settled 
after  the  opening  of  the  land  office. 

Buclnvheat  Valley.  The  valley  located  between  Raccoon  Ridge  and 
Hominy  Ridge,  extending  west   from  the  Juniata  as   far  as  Eshcol. 

Big  Buffalo  Valley.  The  local  name  applied  to  the  territory  between 
Hominy  Ridge  and  Middle  Ridge. 

Little  Buffalo  Valley.  Located  between  Middle  Ridge  and  Buffalo 
Ridge,  sometimes  called  Furnace  Hills. 

Pleasant  Valley.  A  small  valley  lying  south  of  Mannsville,  its  location 
'being  between  Furnace  Hills  and  Limestone  Ridge. 

Perry    Valley.     Formerly   known   as   Wildcat    Valley.      It   is   located    in 


Greenwood  and  Liverpool  Townships,  between  Wildcat  Ridge  and  Buffalo 

Wildcat  Valley.     See  Perry  Valley,  immediately  preceding. 

Hunter's  J  "alley.  Hunter's  Valley  is  a  cove  formed  by  the  Buffalo  and 
Berry  Mountain  joining  at  the  west,  it  lying  between  the  two  and  wholly 
within  Buffalo  Township.  Named  after  the  many  persons  of  that  name 
who  resided  there,  James  Hunter  being  the  original  one.  Isaiah  Hunter, 
long  afterwards  an  undertaker  at  Millerstown,  was  a  grandson. 

Buck's  J 'alley.  Early  known  as  Brush  Valley.  It  lies  between  Berry 
Mountain  and  Half  Fall  Mountain,  in  Buffalo  Township,  extending  through 
Howe  to  Newport  on  the  Juniata  River.  Its  eastern  end  joins  the  Sus- 
quehanna River. 

Brush  Valley.    See  Buck's  Valley,  immediately  preceding. 

"Buck  Hollow."  Located  in  Toboyne  Township,  and  spoken  of  by  Clay- 
pole,  the  geologist,  as  "the  valley  without  a  name." 

Fishing  Rod  J'alley.  According  to  an  old  map,  located  in  Liverpool 
Township,  south  of  the  wooded  ridge,  separating  it  from  Susquehanna 
Township,  Juniata  County. 

The  Cove.  The  Cove  is  a  geological  peculiarity.  Professor  Claypole 
says  its  physical  features  are  entirely  due  to  the  presence  and  direction  of 
the  Pocono  Sandstone  Mountain,  which  crosses  the  Susquehanna  River  at 
Duncannon  under  the  name  of  Peters,'  or  Fourth  Mountain,  rims  to  the 
southwest,  then  curves  around,  and,  turning  eastward  at  the  horseshoe  re- 
turns to  the  Susquehanna  River,  which  it  crosses  above  Marysville.  The 
Cove  is  considered  the  western  extremity  of  the  southern  angle  of  the 
great  Pottsville  coal  basin.     It  is  located  in  Penn  Township. 

Limestone  J'alley.  Located  between  Limestone  Ridge  and  Mahanoy 
Ridge,  starting  east  of  New  Bloomfield  and  running  west  until  it  merges 
into  Sherman's  Valley  near  Green  Park. 

Sandy  Hollow.  Sandy  Hollow  is  located  in  Carroll  Township.  It  ex- 
tends from  the  township's  western  boundary  in  a  northeasterly  direction, 
for  three  miles.  It  is  really  a  continuation  of  Sherman's  Valley,  as  Sher- 
man's Creek,  after  running  close  to  the  base  of  Pisgah  Mountain  for  sev- 
eral miles,  turns  sharply  to  the  right,  while  the  valley  continues  ahead. 

Features  of  Distinction. 

The  Perry  County  territory  belongs  to  one  of  the  more  impor- 
tant drainage  systems  of  the  world.  The  Susquehanna  River, 
north  of  the  Maryland  line,  including  its  tributaries,  the  \\  esl 
Branch  and  the  Juniata  River,  drains  a  territory  comprising  21,006 
square  miles,  according  to  a  statement  of  the  Forestry  Department 
of  the  State  of  Pennsylvania.  Of  this  immense  territory  the  Wesl 
Branch  drains  6,820  square  miles;  the  North  Branch,  5.328;  the 
Susquehanna,  from  Sunbury  to  its  junction  with  the  Juniata  at 
Duncannon,  1,552;  from  Duncannon  to  the  Maryland  line,  3,895, 
and  the  Juniata,  3,411. 

As  the  Christmas  season  comes  around  with  its  pleasing  mem- 
ories and  happy  greetings,  with  its  gay  decorations  and  beautiful 
holly  wreaths  everywhere  in  evidence,  being  shipped  from  south- 
ern climes,  few  probably  know  that  holly  grows  as  far  north  and 
actually  within  the  limits  of  Perry  County;  yet  Prof.  H.  Justin 
Roddy,  of  the  Millersville  State  Normal  School,  in  his  geological 


investigations  has  found  it  growing  in  Greenwood  township,  1 
the  old  home  of  former  superintendent  of  schools,  the  late  Silas 

On  the  old  Wesley  Soule  farm  in  Centre  Township,  nol  Ear 
from  New  Bloomfield,  there  grows  one  of  the  most  rare  plants  to 
he  found  in  America,  known  as  the  "box  huckleberry."  A  man 
named  Miehaux  and  his  son  from  France,  came  to  this  country 
over  a  century  ago  to  make  botanical  discoveries.  They  were  ex- 
perts in  their  line  and  probably  discovered  and  named  more  plants 
in  America  than  any  others.  They  described  minutely  various 
plants  that  were  later  found  to  be  extinct  in  the  districts  named 
and  botanists  then  thought  they  had  been  mistaken.  Anion-  these 
plants  was  named  the  box  huckleberry,  which  had  been  discovered 
in  the  mountains  of  Virginia,  which  form  a  part  of  the  same  sys- 
tem as  do  the  Perry  County  mountains.  None  have  been  found 
there  since,  and  their  discovery  was  supposed  to  have  been  a  mis- 
take or  they  had  become  extinct.  About  1875  Spencer  F.  Baird, 
who  later  became  president  of  the  Smithsonian  Institute  at  Wash- 
ington, D.  C,  while  making  investigations  in  Pennsylvania,  dis- 
covered the  same  plant  covering  a  considerable  area  (about  eight 
acres)  on  the  Soule  farm. 

While  the  species  has  been  found  extinct  in  Virginia,  there  is 
one  other  small  plot  of  it  in  the  state  of  Delaware,  on  the  banks 
of  the  Indian  River,  near  Millsboro.  Prof.  E.  W.  Claypole,  the 
geologist,  speaks  thus  of  it:  "It  appears  to  be  a  lingering  relic  of 
the  ancient  flora  of  the  county ;  maintaining  itself  on  the  sterile 
hillside  of  Chemung  shale,  but  liable  to  be  destroyed  by  cultiva- 
tion at  any  time.  It  is  exceeding  plentiful,  forming  a  perfect  mat 
over  much  of  the  ground,  but  its  limits  are  sharply  defined  without 
apparent  cause."  This  farm,  as  well  as  the  Andrew  Comp  farm 
and  others,  was  warranted  by  Robert  McClay  on  March  22,  1793, 
its  extent  being  436  acres. 

During  1920,  another  colony  of  this  famous  plant,  said  to  be  the 
oldest  living  thing  on  earth,  was  discovered  within  the  borders  of 
Perry  County.  It  is  located  on  the  lands  of  John  Doyle,  in  Watts 
Township,  not  far  from  the  Juniata  River,  opposite  Losh's  Run  Sta- 
tion, on  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad.  The  discovery  was  made  by  Mr. 
H.  A.  Ward,  of  Harrisburg,  Pennsylvania,  under  peculiar  circum- 
stances. Near  the  colony  there  is  a  famous  fossil  rock,  which  has 
been  visited  by  geologists  of  note  from  many  states.  Mr.  Ward 
had  accompanied  a  party  of  geologists  there,  they  being  under  the 
leadership  of  Dr.  Benjamin  L.  Miller,  of  Princeton  University. 
Being  more  interested  in  plants  than  fossils,  Mr.  Miller  strayed 
through  the  ravines  of  the  Half  Falls  Hills,  and  in  a  short  time 
discovered  the  mass  of  low  shrubbery  with  bright,  shining  leaves, 
being  uniformly  about  ten  inches  high.     He  recognized  it  as  the 


rare  box  huckleberry  (Gaylussacia  brachycera),  and  upon  sending 

specimens  to  such  authorities  as  Dr.  Edgar  T.  Wherry,  of  the  U. 
S.  Bureau  of  Chemistry ;  Dr.  N.  L.  Britten,  director-in-chief  of 
the  New  York  Botanical  Gardens,  and  Dr.  J.  P.  Bill,  a  Harvard 
instructor,  found  that  he  was  correct,  and  that  he  had  discovered 
that  which  botanists  had  been  seeking  for  over  fifty  years.  The 
main  colony  occupies  the  northern  slope  of  a  ridge  for  at  least  a 
mile,  and  covers  about  two  hundred  feet  in  width.  It  is  located 
on  the  same  chain  of  ridges  of  Chemung  soil  as  is  the  colonv  at 
the  old  Soule  property,  the  two  being  less  than  a  dozen  miles  apart. 
Mr.  Ward  has  since  discovered  three  additional  colonies  close  by. 
It  does  not  grow  from  seed,  but  spreads  from  the  roots,  and  does 
not  cross  streams. 

Located  in  Spring  Township  are  the  Warm  Springs,  the  tract 
of  land  on  which  they  are  located  being  warranted  by  Solomon 
I  >entler  on  March  21,  1793.  James  Kennedy,  who  was  the  owner 
in  1830,  erected  bath  houses  there.  John  Hippie,  who  had  been 
sheriff  of  the  county  from  1826  to  1820.  leased  the  property  in 
1830  from  Kennedy  for  a  ten-year  period  and  erected  a  building 
40x45  feet  in  size,  and  other  additional  bath  houses,  and  in  1831 
opened  the  place  as  a  regular  health  resort,  entertaining  those  who 
during  previous  years  had  lodged  in  the  surrounding  farmhouses. 
In  1838  Peter  Updegraffe,  by  marriage  connected  with  the  owner- 
ship, was  in  charge,  employing  his  unoccupied  time  at  farming  and 
conducting  a  pottery  which  he  had  erected.  On  August  8,  T849, 
H.  H.  Etter  purchased  the  property,  and  in  1850  again  opened  the 
house  to  the  public.  He  built  a  seventy-five-foot  extension  to  the 
hotel.  The  property  passed  to  R.  M.  Henderson  and  John  Hays, 
of  Carlisle,  who  leased  it  to  various  parties  until  April  4,  1865, 
when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Then,  on  April  tt,  1866,  the  Perry 
Warm  Springs  Hotel  Company  was  incorporated  by  A.  L.  Spon- 
sler,  Robert  M.  Henderson,  John  Greason,  Jacob  Rhecm,  John 
Hays,  William  T.  Dewalt,  and  John  D.  Crea  (probably  Creigh), 
with  a  capital  stock  of  $10,000.  The  resort  was  again  opened,  but 
never  attained  its  former  popularity,  as  the  seashore  and  other 
resorts  which  were  reached  by  railroads  were  then  being  developed. 
As  late  as  1877  lists  of  guests  appeared  in  the  county  pres^.  For 
many  years  it  has  not  been  open  as  a  resort.  The  property  later 
came  into  the  possession  of  Abram  Bower,  and  in  TQ19  it  was  pur- 
chased by  II.  B.  Rhinesmith,  of  New  Bloomfield,  from  the  Bower 

Sulphur  springs  abound  at  various  places  in  Perry  Count  v. 
notably  in  Wheat  field,  Juniata,  and  Toboyne  Townships. 

According  to  Prof.  E.  W.  Claypole,  an  authority  on  geology,  of 
the  Second  State  Geological  Survey,  the  earliest  fish  fossils  and  the 


earliest  vertebrates  found  in  any  part  of  the  world  wen-  discov- 
ered in  Perry  County,  aboul  [883,  in  the  Cat  skill  rock  formation. 
He  describes  these  little  prehistoric  (ish  as  not  more  than  -dx 
inches  in  length,  with  thin  shields  protecting  their  vital  organs. 
lie  says:  "In  every  link  the  chain  of  argument  is  complete,  and 
Perry  County  now  has  the  honor  of  contributing  to  geolog)  the 
oldest  indisputable  vertebrate  animals  which  the  world  has  yet 
seen."     Further  on  in  his  report,  he  says: 

"It  is  a  long,  long"  vista  through  which  we  look  hack,  by  the  help  of 
geology's  telescope,  to  see  these  tiny  ancestors  of  our  fishes  sporting  in  the 
Silurian  seas.  The  Tertiary  and  Secondary  rocks  abound  with  fish.  Even 
in  our  coal  measures  we  find  numerous  species.  The  Devonian  seas,  as 
I  have  already  mentioned,  swarmed  with  great  armor-clad  monsters,  some 
of  which  I  have  found  in  Perry  County.  These  lived  millions  of  years 
ago,  and  few  can  realize  what  a  million  means.  But  earlier  than  all  these 
swam  the  little  hard-shelled  Pennsylvania  Palaeaspis,  as  I  have  called  it, 
in  the  seas  of  long  ago,  before  Tuscarora  and  the  Blue  Mountains  had 
raised  their  heads  above  the  waters.  To  these  queer,  antiquated  forms 
we  must  look  as  the  ancestors  of  some  at  least  of  our  existing  fish,  devel- 
oped by  the  slow  process  of  nature,  by  change  of  environment,  by  compe- 
tition in  the  struggle  for  existence,  and  by  the  inexorable  law  of  the  sur- 
vival of  the  fittest.  The  condition  of  life  must  then  have  varied  rapidly, 
for  these  and  every  nearly  allied  form  became  extinct  in  Mid-Devouian 
days ;  and  when  our  coal  measures  were  laid  down  they  were  already  as 
much  out  of  date  and  as  nearly  forgotten  as  are  the  armor-clad  knights 
of  the  Middle  Ages  at  the  present  time.  But  the  mud  of  the  sea  bottom 
received  their  carcasses,  buried  them  carefully,  and  has  ever  since  faith- 
fully preserved  them,  if  not  perfect,  yet  in  a  condition  capable  of  being 
recognized.  And  to  the  geologist  that  same  sea  bottom,  long  since  dried 
and  turned  to  stone,  now  returns  these  precious  remains.  The  day  of  their 
resurrection  has  come,  and  the  hammer  has  brought  to  light  from  the  rocks 
of  Perry  County  the  identical  bones  entombed,  perhaps,  twenty  million 
years  ago,  when  its  wearer  turned  on  its  back,  gave  up  the  ghost  and  sank 
to  the  bottom." 

Prof.  Gilbert  Wan  Ingen,  of  the  Geological  Department  of 
Princeton  University,  assisted  by  11.  Justin  Roddy,  has  been  mak- 
ing geological  investigations  throughout  Perry  County  in  recent 
years,  and  the  following  extract  from  a  personal  letter  from  him 
in  Kj2i  is  self-explanatory: 

Referring  to  your  inquiry  regarding  the  salina  beds  of  Perry  County. 
There  is  only  one  item  that  is  worthy  of  mention  in  a  county  history, 
namely,  that  the  salina  beds  of  Perry  County  contain  remains  of  the  most 
primitive  types  of  fish  known  in  North  America.  These  were  discovered 
by  E.  W.  Claypole,  who  described  them  about  1880,  in  the  vicinity  of  New 
Bloomfield,  and  have  since  been  found  by  me  at  a  certain  horizon  in  the 
salina  group  at  several  different  localities  scattered  throughout  the  county. 

Perry  County  has  practically  no  minerals.    Coal  has  been  found 
in  small  quantities  on  Cove  Mountain  and  on  Perry's  Mountain  in 
what   is  known  as  Pocono  sandstone  formation,  but  not  in  suffi- 
cient quantities  to  pay  for  mining  and  marketing. 


There  have  been  mines  in  years  past  of  Clinton  fossil  ore  at 
Tuscarora  Mountain,  Millerstown;  of  Marcellus  iron  ore  in  small 
basins  of  Oriskany  sandstone  in  Limestone  Ridge  at  a  place 
locally  known  as  "Ore  Bank  Hill,"  south  of  Newport,  in  Miller 
Township;  on  Iron  Ridge,  south  and  west  of  the  old  Perry  Fur- 
nace ;  on  Mahanoy  Ridge,  north  and  west  of  New  Bloomfield ; 
at  Bell's  Hill,  north  and  west  of  "Little  Germany";  on  Pisgah 
Mountain,  near  Oak  Grove  Furnace;  at  old  Juniata  Furnace,  west 
of  Newport ;  at  Girty's  Notch,  on  the  Susquehanna,  and  at  various 
points  along  the  south  side  of  Mahanoy,  Crawley's  and  Dick's 
Hills,  and  back  from  the  Susquehanna  River  at  Marysville. 

The  only  mineral  of  value  ever  mined  to  any  considerable  ex- 
tent was  iron  ore,  and  that  was  principally  in  the  vicinity  of  Mil- 
lerstown. Ore  was  first  discovered  on  lands  of  Abram  Addams, 
by  Peter  Wertz,  in  small  quantities.  Later  the  farm  descended  to 
Mr.  Adams'  daughter,  Mrs.  McDonald,  and  George  Maus  began 
actual  operations.  They  were  not  worked  extensively  until  1867, 
when  Beaver,  Marsh  &  Co.  operated  them  and  shipped  the  ore  by 
boat  to  their  furnace  at  Winfield,  Union  County.  In  1877  James 
Rounsley,  an  experienced  miner,  bought  the  mines  and  shipped 
much  ore  to  that  firm  as  long  as  their  furnace  was  in  operation,  or 
until  1892.  They  had  built  the  furnace  in  1853.  The  last  ore 
shipped  from  these  mines  was  in  1903,  by  Mr.  Rounsley.  There 
was  another  mine  located  near  Millerstown,  on  the  west  side  of 
the  river.  James  Lannigan  began  operations  there  in  1868  and 
continued  until  1875.  James  Rounsley  purchased  these  mines  also 
in  1879  and  continued  their  operation  until  1901,  his  continuous 
mining  lasting  for  twenty-six  years.  About  1868  the  Reading 
[nm  Company  operated  mines  on  the  Thomas  P.  Cochran  farm, 
near  Millerstown,  but  did  not  operate  regularly.  The  Duncannoir 
hen  Company  opened  the  mines  on  the  Perry  Kremer  farm,  on 
the  west  side  of  the  river,  near  Millerstown,  in  1868,  and  operated 
for  about  three  years.  The  Reading  Company  also  opened  mines 
on  the  Jonathan  Black  farm  about  1868  and  mined  until  1877. 
Other  marts  to  which  this  ore  was  shipped  was  Lochiel,  Reading, 
and  Harrisburg.  When  the  Perry  Furnace  was  in  operation  the 
mines  on  the  Dum  farm  in  "Little  Germany,"  Spring  Township, 
employed  twelve  men.  With  the  blowing  out  of  the  charcoal  fur- 
naces throughout  Perry  County,  about  the  middle  of  the  last  cen- 
tury, these  smaller  operations  ceased.  The  substitution  of  coal 
and  coke  for  charcoal  in  the  iron  industry  spelled  their  end,  as  coal 
was  too  far  away  and  the  product  insufficient  to  pay. 

An  effort  to  mine  coal  in  Berry  Mountain,  near  Mt.  Patrick, 
was  made  by  Baltimore  capitalists,  the  McDonald-Downing  Co., 
around  the  period  of  the  Sectional  War.  A  drift  of  three  hundred 
feet  was  made  and  at  that  point  it  was  claimed  a  three-foot  vein 


of  coal  was  discovered,  said  to  be  loo   small   to  operate  upon  a 
paying  basis.     The  mouth  of  the  drift  is  plainly  to  be  seen.     An- 
other statement  is  that   the  firm  offered  a   Mr.   Matchett,  a  pros 
pector,  $10,000  for  a  three-foot  vein. 

An  old  leg-end  is  that  the  Indians  once  came  to  a  blacksmith 
shop  on  what  is  now  the  James  R.  Showaker  place,  on  Shaffer 
Run,  in  Toboyne  Township,  and  wanted  a  horse  shod,  but  were  in- 
formed by  the  smith  that  he  had  no  coal,  whereupon  they  left  and 
in  a  short  time  returned  with  the  necessary  coal.  As  coal  was  not 
then  yet  in  use  the  story  must  be  only  a  legend .  Coal  was  dis- 
covered on  the  Cove  Mountain  twenty-five  years  ago,  but  not  in 
sufficient  quantities.  The  Perry  Forester  of  May  24,  1827,  said 
"a  wry  extensive  bed  of  stone  coal  has  been  discovered  near  the 
mouth  of  Sherman's  Creek,  on  land  belonging  to  Stephen  Dun- 
can." In  1857  the  county  press  reported  "a  large  vein  of  coal" 
discovered  on  the  land  of  D.  Lupfer,  one  and  a  half  miles  west 
of  New  Bloomfield.  A  small  vein  was  once  discovered  in  "Little 
Germany,"  Spring  Township,  but  it  was  only  three  inches  thick, 
soft  and  easily  crumbled. 

The  great  length  of  the  zigzag  beds  of  Lower  Heidelberg  lime- 
stone, aggregating  150  miles,  which  underlie  the  surface,  makes  the 
burning  and  marketing  of  lime  an  industry  worth  while,  at  the 
same  time  supplying  a  fertilizer  for  the  soil.  Many  of  these  lime 
kilns  date  back  to  the  time  of  the  pioneer. 

While  Perry  County  is  practically  destitute  of  minerals,  yet 
there  have  been  several  cases  of  great  excitement  over  their  re- 
ported discovery.  Immediately  after  the  close  of  the  Sectional 
War,  in  1865.  it  was  reported  that  oil  had  been  discovered  in  Sa- 
ville  Township  and  two  companies  were  formed  for  development 
of  the  industry.  The  Snyder  Spring  Oil  Company,  with  a  capital 
of  $50,000,  the  shares  being  one  dollar  each,  was  formed  and 
leased  the  farms  then  owned  by  Godfrey  Burket  and  William  Sny- 
der. The  Coller  Oil  Company  leased  the  lands  at  the  headwaters 
of  Buffalo  Creek.  It  had  a  capital  of  $100,000,  the  shares  being 
of  a  par  value  of  five  dollars.  Of  course,  oil  was  never  found. 
During  1920  another  company  was  organized,  principally  by  per- 
sons from  outside  the  county,  to  prospect  for  oil  in  IYrr\  and 
Cumberland  Counties.  They  arc  now  sinking  their  first  well  near 

Crossing  Perry  County  to  the  smith  is  a  remarkable  geological 
trap-dyke  formation  known  as  [ronstone  Ridge.  Nine  miles  west 
of  Marysville  it  makes  a  watershed  across  Rye  Township  and  its 
outcroppings  continue  clear  across  Cumberland  County  .and  are 
visible  in  York  County,  it  is  probably  two  hundred  feet  wide. 
Three  others  cross  Rye  and  Penn  Townships.  Of  these  a  much 
smaller  one  than  the  one  described  runs  about  five  hundred  yards 


east.  Two  others  cross  the  Cove  slightly  northeast,  one  of  which, 
passing  Duncannon,  runs  across  Wheatfield  and  Watts  Townships. 
They  cut  mountains  and  valleys  at  right  angles.  Local  tradition 
would  have  this  most  prominent  trap-dyke,  crossing  Rye  Town- 
ship, as  extending  clear  south  to  Tennessee,  but  Clavpole,  the  geolo- 
gist, whose  position  as  an  authority  has  never  been  questioned,  has 
it  end  in  York  County.  Samuel  J.  Tritt,  for  twenty  years  county 
surveyor  of  Cumberland  County,  who  did  much  surveying  in  Perry 
County,  also  recognized  it  as  first  becoming  conspicuous  in  Rye 
Township,  and  as  extending  across  Cumberland  to  the  Susque- 
hanna River  in  York  County.     Clavpole  tells  us: 

"Trap-dykes  are  ancient  cracks  in  the  earth,  filled  from  below 
by  lava,  which  has  hardened  into  rock.  They  must  be  of  great 
depth,  for  they  can  be  traced  along  the  present  surface  of  the 
earth  for  a  great  distance.  The  trap-dyke  described  by  Dr.  Frazer, 
in  his  report  on  Lancaster  County,  runs  in  a  straight  line  (N.  R.) 
forty  miles.  Many  others  exist  in  Adams,  York,  Lancaster, 
Dauphin.  Lebanon,  Berks,  Chester,  Delaware,  Montgomery  and 
Bucks  Counties,  and  in  middle  and  northern  New  Jersey,  southern 
New  York,  and  New  England. 

"The  most  remarkable  of  them  all  starts  in  the  South  Moun- 
tains, and  runs  in  a  nearly  straight  line  across  Cumberland  County 
(between  Mechanicsburg  and  Carlisle),  crossing  the  Blue  Moun- 
tain two  miles  east  of  Sterrett's  Gap."  This  is  the  "Ironstone 
Ridge"  spoken  of  above. 

Claypole  further  says:  "At  the  earliest  date  to  which  geology 
can  point  back  with  tolerable  certainty  in  the  history  of  what  is 
now  Perry  County,  the  interior  of  the  North  American  continent 
was  an  ocean  of  unknown  extent  into  which  was  borne  the  sand 
and  mud  of  neighboring  lands,  swept  down  by  the  rivers  of  that 
distant  age  to  make  the  beds  of  rock  which  to-day  compose  the 
solid  land  of  the  United  States.  The  history  of  this  process  is 
written  in  the  rocks." 

At  another  place  the  noted  geologist,  speaking  of  an  unusual 
feature,  says:  "The  volcanic  rocks  of  Perry  County  may  seem 
strange,  but  it  has  long  been  known  that  in  the  southeast  of  the 
county  occur  some  rocks  of  very  peculiar  nature,  totally  different 
from  any  others.  They  cut  across  the  line  of  the  bedded  rocks 
quite  regardless  of  their  direction.  They  are  very  heavy,  intensely 
lough,  and  highly  charged  with  iron.  They  are  in  effect  what  the 
geologist  calls  'trap-rocks,'  what  the  miner  calls  'elvans.'  They  are 
composed  of  material  that  has  been  fused,  and  forced  in  a  fused 
condition  into  and  between  the  other  rocks,  filling  up  cracks  and 
cavities  and  baking  and  hardening  by  its  heat  and  strata  through 
which  it  flowed.  When  cooled  the  fluid  matter  became  hard,  and 
is  now  known  as  intrusive  or  trap-rock." 


WHEN  Christopher  Columbus,  in  October,  [492,  discovered 
the  Western  Continent,  which  was  the  preliminary  act  in 
the  development  of  this  great  nation,  the  lands  which  now 
comprise  the  county  of  Perry— in  Pennsylvania— were,  according 
to  all  traditions,  inhabited  by  the  swarthy,  copper-colored  race. 
from  that  day  to  be  generally  spoken  of  as  Indians,  on  account 
of  the  discoverer's  mistaken  idea  that  he  had  crossed  the  world 
to  the  eastern  shores  of  India. 

When  the  first  settlements  were  made  in  Pennsylvania  by  the 
Dutch  (not  to  he  misconstrued  as  referring  to  the  Germans)  in 
[623,  when  it  was  later  occupied  by  the  Swedes,  the  Dutch  again, 
the  English,  and  eventually  in  1682  by  William  Penn  and  the 
Quakers,  the  outlying  sections  of  which  Perry  was  naturally  a  part, 
were  evidently  overrun  by  these  wild  tribes,  although  almost  two 
hundred  years  had  elapsed  since  the  discovery  of  America. 

Then  for  another  period  of  a  half  century  little  is  known,  ex- 
cept that  which  comes  to  us  through  the  misty  veil  of  years  and 
which  for  want  of  a  better  name  is  known  as  tradition.  About 
that  time,  however,  the  outlying  settlements  had  pushed  west  to 
the  Susquehanna,  and  an  occasional  manuscript,  a  diary,  a  letter 
or  a  record  of  one  kind  or  another  has  been  found  and  preserved, 
so  that  one  can  get  a  glimpse  into  the  lives  of  the  Indians  and  the 
hardy  pioneers  on  the  lands  which  were  later  to  become  the  county 
of  Perry. 

If  any  other  nationality  than  the  English  under  Penn  had  set- 
tled in  Pennsylvania,  Perry  County  would  probably  not  have  ad- 
vanced nearly  as  rapidly  as  it  did.  as  the  English-speaking  people 
were  then  as  now,  the  advance  agents  of  civilization.  It  is  signifi- 
cant that  those  old  English  charters  gave  title  to  die  land  straight 

*The  chapters  of  this  book  relating  to  the  Indians  have  been  passed  upon 
by  Dr.  George  P.  Donehoo,  of  Coudersport,  Pennsylvania,  noted  authority 
upon  Indian  History  and  secretary  of  the  Pennsylvania  Historical  Com- 
mission, and  later,  November,  1921,  appointed  State  Librarian  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, by  Governor  Sproul. 

Common  or  popular  usage  adds  the  "s"  to  Indian  names,  thus  Dela- 
wares,  Tuscaroras,  although  the  names  Delaware,  Tuscarora,  etc.,  as  ap- 
plied to  Indian  tribes,  is  already  plural,  being  applied  to  a  tribe,  according 
to  scientific  writers.  Not  belonging  to  the  latter  class  of  writers  it  has 
been  thought  best  to  add  the  "s"  in  this  book,  as  do  even  many  noted 



across  the  continent  from  ocean  to  ocean.  The  following  para- 
graph from  George  Sydney  Fisher's  "The  Making  of  Pennsylva- 
nia," well  illustrates  this  : 

"In  nothing  is  the  difference  in  nationality  so  distinctly  shown. 
The  Dutchman  builds  trading  posts  and  lies  in  his  ship  off  shore 
to  collect  the  furs.  The  gentle  Swede  settles  on  the  soft,  rich 
meadow  lands,  and  his  cattle  wax  fat  and  his  barns  are  full  of  hay. 
The  Frenchman  enters  the  forest,  sympathizes  with  its  inhabitants, 
and  turns  half  savage  to  please  them.  All  alike  bow  before  the 
wilderness  and  accept  it  as  a  fact.  But  the  Englishman  destroys 
it.  He  grasped  at  the  continent  from  the  beginning,  and  but  for 
him  the  oak  and  the  pine  would  have  triumphed  and  the  prairies 
still  be  in  possession  of  the  Indian  and  the  buffalo."  No  lands  in 
the  world  advance  and  prosper  as  do  those  of  the  English-speaking 
nations,  and  be  it  remembered  that  among  the  English-speaking- 
people  the  American  is  always  in  the  van. 

One  of  the  earliest  records  of  Indian  affairs  in  Pennsylvania  is 
the  "Jesuit  Relations  of  1659,"  which  tells  of  a  tradition  of  a  ten 
years'  war  between  the  Mohawks  and  the  Pennsylvania  Indians, 
in  which  the  latter  almost  exterminated  the  Mohawks.  This  was 
before  either  could  obtain  firearms.  To  .Captain  John  Smith,  of 
Virginia,  posterity  is  indebted  for  the  very  first  description,  by  a 
white  man,  of  the  Indians  of  the  interior  of  Pennsylvania.  Pow- 
hatan had  told  him  of  a  mighty  nation  which  dwelt  here  which 
"did  eat  men."  Smith  says:  "Many  kingdoms  he  described  to  me 
to  the  head  of  the  bay,  which  seemed  to  be  a  mighty  river,  issuing 
from  mighty  mountains  betwixt  two  seas."  On  the  east  of  the 
bay  Smith  found  an  Indian  who  understood  the  language  of  Pow- 
hatan, and  he  was  dispatched  up  the  river  to  bring  down  some 
of  them.  In  a  few  days  sixty  of  these  "gyant-like  people"  ap- 
peared. Smith  called  all  the  country  Virginia,  and  from  a  descrip- 
tion by  the  Indians  he  drew  a  map.  which  is  the  oldest  map  of 
any  inland  parts  of  Pennsylvania.  He  locates  five  Indian  towns, 
the  second  lowest  down  being  designated  "Attaock,"  a  branch 
which  corresponds  to  the  Juniata.  This  was  probably  the  Indian 
village  later  known  as  Juniata,  on  Duncan's  Island,  further  de- 
scribed in  the  chapter  devoted  to  that  island.  He  described  the 
river  as  "cometh  three  or  four  days  from  the  head  of  the  bay." 
These  Indians  were  supposed  to  be  of  the  Andaste  tribes,  using 
dialects  of  the  throat-speaking  Iroquois.  Smith's  description  tells 
of  their  "hellish  voice,  sounding  from  them  as  a  voice  in  a  vault." 
The  Iroquois  used  no  lip  sounds,  but  spoke  from  the  throat  with 
an  open  mouth.  Along  the  shores  of  the  bay  Smith  found  the 
natives  all  fearful  of  the  "great-water  men,"  who  principally  dwelt 
along  the  Potomac  and  the  Susquehanna  and  "had  so  many  boats 
and  so  many  men  that  they  made  war  with  all  the  world."     Smith 



met  seven  canoeloads  of  these  men  at  the  head  "i  the  bay,  bu1 
failed  to  understand  a  word  spoken.  Karly  Virginia  historians 
presumed  them  to  be  of  the  Mohawk  tribe,  the  ancestors  of  the 
Five  Nations,  which  conclusion  is  a  matter  of  question  and  prob- 
ably wrong. 

The  first  white  man  to  enter  what  is  now  the  state  of  Pennsyl- 
vania was  Etienne  Brule,  a  Frenchman  associated  with  Champlain, 
who  was  making  explorations  in  Canada  even  before  the  English 
had  entered  Virginia.  Brule  went  southward  through  New  York 
to  obtain  aid  from  a  body  of  Susquehannocks  in  an  attack  against 

"A  mighty   River,    Issuing   From   Mighty   Mountains,   Betwixt   Two    Seas." 
■ — Capt.  John   Smith.      (See  page  38.) 

a  stronghold  of  the  Iroquois.  Failing  to  find  Champlain,  he  re- 
mained in  northern  Pennsylvania  through  the  winter.  Tart  oi 
the  time  he  spent  in  making  expeditions  to  the  south.  He  left  a 
description  of  the  Susquehanna  River,  which  he  made  down  to  the 
bay.  He  accordingly  must  have  crossed  Pennsylvania.  In  that 
case  he  traveled  through  it  at  least  a  century  before  any  other 
white  man. 

A  paper  map  found  at  the  Hague  in  1841  illustrates  the  travels 
of  three  Dutch  settlers  from  Albany  in  i6rq,  who  came  down  the 
Susquehanna  and  crossed  to  the  Lehigh  and  the  Delaware,  being 
captured  by  the  Minequas.  Their  map  locates  a  tribe  called 
"Iottecas,"  west  of  the  Susquehanna,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Juniata 
River.     In  1655  a  man  named  Visscher  published  a  map,  in  Am- 


sterdam,  of  New  Netherlands,  in  which  he  almost  accurately  places 
the  Susquehanna,  but  without  any  West  Branch  or  Juniata.  Dur- 
ing the  next  fifty  years  about  fifteen  maps  appeared,  all  having 
practically  the  same  river  outline.  On  all  of  them  just  where  the 
Juniata  belongs,  there  is  the  name  of  a  tribe  called  "Onojutta 
Haga,"  the  first  part  of  the  name  meaning  a  projecting  stone,  and 
the  "Haga"  being  the  Mohawk  word  for  people  or  tribe.  They 
were  a  superior  race  and  lived  largely  by  the  cultivation  of  the  soil. 

When  the  Dutch  began  selling  firearms  to  the  Iroquois,  or  Five 
Nations,  about  1640,  they  started  a  military  conquest  which  ex- 
tended as  far  west  as  the  Mississippi.  Among  those  destroyed  or 
subdued  and  incorporated  into  their  own  tribes  were  the  Andaste 
tribes  in  Pennsylvania,  which  among  others  included  the  "Standing 
Stone"  Indians  on  the  Juniata.  By  1676  all  were  exterminated. 
The  Iroquois  then  claimed  all  the  lands  of  the  Susquehanna  and 
its  branches,  selling  to  William  Penn  and  his  heirs  at  different 
times  what  they  had  gained  by  conquest.  While  negotiating  for 
the  sale  of  lands  as  early  as  16S4  the  Iroquois  spoke  of  the  entire 
region  as  "the  Susquehanna  River,  which  we  won  with  the  sword." 
In  1736  Thomas  Penn,  then  governor,  acknowledged  their  right 
by  these  words:  "The  lands  on  Susquehanna,  we  believe,  belong 
to  the  Six  Nations  by  the  conquest  of  the  Indian  tribes  on  that 

The  entire  region,  which  of  course  included  what  is  now  Perry 
County,  was  then  a  vast  deserted  space  until  such  time  as  the  Tus- 
caroras  were  allowed  to  settle  there.  The  Delaware's  and  Shaw- 
nees  later  were  allowed  to  settle,  the  Delawares  coming  in  between 
1720  and  1730.  During  this  period  not  even  a  trader  or  pioneer 
had  ventured  there  and  through  this  veil  of  obscurity  comes  no 
record  whatsoever  of  this  time.  However,  the  tribal  records  of 
the  Hurons  and  the  Iroquois  tell  of  vast  numbers  of  prisoners 
being  brought  to  their  New  York  towns  from  the  South,  as  many 
as  six  hundred  at  a  time,  and  the  inference  is  that  the  tribes  in- 
habiting this  section  were  among  the  captives. 

The  Tuscaroras  had  been  defeated  and  driven  from  their  former 
abode,  and  they  claimed  that  the  colonists  were  selling  their  chil- 
dren into  slavery.  About  17 13  or  1714,  they  came  from  the  South, 
and  settled,  with  the  consent  of  the  Five  Nations,  "on  the  Juniata, 
in  a  secluded  interior,  not  far  from  the  Susquehanna  River."  At 
a  conference  with  Governor  Hunter,  of  New  York,  September  20, 
1714,  a  Chief  of  the  Iroquois,  said,  "We  acquaint  you  that  the 
Tuscarora  Indians  are  come  to  shelter  themselves  among  the  Five 

The  great  path  or  trail  to  the  southwest  was  known  as  the  "Tus- 
carora Path,"  when  the  first  traders  came,  and  this  tribe's  principal 
settlements   were  likely  responsible   for  that  name,  as  they  were 


located  in  Tuscarora  Valley,  now  in  [uniata  County;  in  I'atli  Val- 
ley, now  in  Franklin  County,  and  in  what  is  now  Perry  County, 
principally  in  Raccoon  Valley.  These  lands  head  not  been  occupied 
for  from  a  half  to  three  quarters  of  a  century,  or  since  the  con- 
quesl  by  the  Five  Nations.  According  to  Samuel  G.  Drake,  an 
Indian  antiquarian,  "the  Tuscaroras  from  Carolina  joined  them 
(the  Five  Nations)  about  1712,  but  were  not  formally  admitted 
into  the  confederacy  until  about  ten  years  after  that  ;  this  gained 
them  the  name  of  the  Six  Nations."  They  were  sometimes  known 
as  Mingoes.  In  all  the  Albany  conferences  dated  from  1714  to 
1722  in  which  the  members  of  the  Five  Nations  participated  the 
Tuscaroras  are  not  mentioned.  After  this  probationary  period 
of  probably  ten  years  on  the  Juniata,  where  most  of  them  lived, 
they  were  formally  assigned  a  portion  of  the  Oneida  territory  and 
had  their  council-house  east  of  Syracuse.  New  York.  However, 
all  the  Tuscaroras  did  not  migrate  to  New  York,  some  choosing 
to  remain  on  the  Juniata.  In  1730  there  is  record  of  "three  Tus- 
karorows  missing  at  Pechston"  (Paxtang),  now  Harrisburg. 
Even  to  the  time  of  the  Albany  purchase  of  the  lands  north  of  the 
Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain,  in  1754,  some  of  the  tribe  still  in- 
habited the  district.  In  a  letter  from  John  O'Neal  to  the  governor 
dated  at  Carlisle.  May  2y,  1753,  is  the  statement  :  "A  large  number 
of  Delawares,  Shawnees  and  Tuscaroras  continue  in  this  vicinity 
— the  greater  number  having  gone  to  the  West."  As  early  as  1725 
the  Conestogas  and  the  Shawnees  had  begun  working  their  way 
westward  along  the  Juniata  and  the  West  Branch  of  the  Sus- 

Among  the  reports  and  records  of  Fort  Duquesne  was  found 
the  following,  dated  September  15,  1756: 

"Two  hundred  Indians  and  French  left  Fort  Duquesne  to  set 
fire  to  four  hundred  houses  in  a  part  of  Pennsylvania.  That  prov- 
ince has  suffered  but  little  in  consequence  of  the  intrigues  of  the 
Five  Nations  with  Taskarosins,  a  tribe  on  the  lands  of  that  prov- 
ince, and  in  alliance  with  the  Five  Nations.  But  now  they  have 
declared  that  they  will  assist  their  brethren,  the  Delawares.  and 
Chouanons  (Shawnees),  and  consequently  several  have  sided 
with  them,  so  that  the  above  province  will  be  laid  waste  the  same 
as  Virginia  and  Carolina."  According  to  that,  some  were  still 
there  in  1756. 

About  1730  some  Scoth-Irish,  who  had  crossed  the  Susque- 
hanna, settled  in  what  was  then  termed  the  "Kittochtinny  or  North 
Valley,  near  Falling  Springs."  This  was  the  Cumberland  Valley 
of  the  present,  and  the  place  called  Falling  Springs  was  not  the 
settlement  by  that  name  in  Perry  County,  but  was  where  the  pres- 
ent town  of   Chambersburg  stands.     This  is  the   first    settlement 


west  of  the  Susquehanna  of  which  there  is  record.  The  woods 
were  then  full  of  Indians. 

As  George  Croghan,  the  interpreter,  who  knew  the  languages 
of  the  Shawnees  and  the  Delawares,  located  in  Cumberland 
County  in  1742,  the  presence  of  those  tribes  here  is  indicated. 
The  Delawares  were  known  among  themselves  as  the  Leni  Lenape 
tribe.  According  to  their  tradition  they  were  one  of  two  great 
peoples  who  inhabited  the  entire  country,  the  other  being  the 

As  the  names  Juniata  and  Oneida  are  derived  from  the  same 
source  the  contention  is  advanced  that  the  Oneidas  may  have  in- 
habited the  Juniata  Valley,  but  according  to  authorities  there  is 
nowhere  any  evidence  to  bear  out  that  fact. 

An  Indian  trail  led  westward  along  the  Susquehanna  and  Juni- 
ata Rivers,  crossing  the  former  near  what  is  now  Clark's  Ferry, 
at  Duncannon;  another  led  over  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Moun- 
tain at  what  was  then  Croghan's  (now  Sterrett's)  Gap,  and  a  third 
led  over  the  same  mountain  at  McClure's  Gap,  the  two  latter  cross- 
ing the  Tuscarora  Mountain.  That  via  Sterrett's  Gap  was  known 
as  "the  Allegheny  Path,"  the  first  great  highway  to  the  West. 
The  first  white  men  to  enter  Perry  County  territory  came  over 
these  routes,  and  the  men  were  known  as  traders,  whose  vocation 
necessitated  their  going  westward  as  far  as  the  Ohio.  There  are 
evidences  that  these  men  were  traders  even  before  there  is  record 
of  it.  There  are  some  recorded  statements  pertaining  to  their 
operations,  but  traders  then,  as  now,  do  not  belong  to  the  class 
which  reduce  events  to  writing. 

One  of  them  was  George  Croghan,  whose  name  was  given  to 
Sterrett's  Gap.  Croghan  first  lived  in  what  was  later  to  become 
Cumberland  County,  about  five  miles  from  Harris'  Ferry  (now 
Harrisburg),  and  afterwards  on  the  mountain  at  the  Gap,  near 
where  the  old  tavern  or  road-house  stood  later.  Still  later  he  took 
up  his  residence  at  Aughwick,  near  Mount  Union,  in  Huntingdon 
County.  As  early  as  1747  he  is  mentioned  as  a  "considerable 
trader."  He  was  well  acquainted  with  the  Indian  country  and 
with  the  paths  and  trails.  He  continually  used  the  one  via  the 
Kittatinny  and  Tuscarora  Mountains,  from  which  one  would  infer 
that  it  was  at  least  preferable  to  the  others.  He  served  the  pro- 
vincial government  by  convoying  expeditions  westward  for  them. 
He  was  associated  much  with  Conrad  Weiser,  the  Indian  inter- 
preter, and  of  them  there  is  more  further  on  in  this  book. 

The  scope  of  this  book  is  not  wide  enough  to  go  into  all  the 
details  of  the  often  fraudulent,  crafty  and  deceptive  actions  of 
Mime  of  the  pioneers,  traders  and  officials  in  dealing  with  the  In- 
dians, which  in  a  general  way  might  be  said  to  have  been  largely 
responsible  for  much  of  the  heart-rending  suffering  of  the  white 


settlers  and  many  of  the  sickening  massacres  perpetrated  upon 
them.  With  every  setting  of  the  sun  the  aborigines  saw  their 
domain  dwindling  before  the  oncoming  tide  of  white  pioneers, 
their  favorite  hunting  grounds  encroached  upon  and  the  very 
streams  from  which  came  much  of  their  subsistence  marred  by 
the  building  of  mill  dams.  Constantly  impressed  with  such  con- 
ditions, but  a  spark  was  often  needed  to  light  the  flame  of  resent- 
ment which  left  death  and  destruction  in  its  wake. 

Of  Our  Indian  Inhabitants. 

The  reader  is  familiar  with  the  life  and  habits  of  the  American 
Indian  ;  and  from  what  can  be  learned  in  reference  to  the  tribes 
which  dwelt  on  what  is  now  Perry  County  soil,  they  were  the  exact 
counterpart  of  the  average  member  of  that  race  in  industry,  cruelty 
and  all  the  other  characteristic  traits  to  which  they  were  heir. 
They  hunted  and  fished  for  a  living,  and  the  territory  now  em- 
braced in  Perry  County  was  noted  as  a  famous  hunting  ground, 
evidences  of  that  fact  being  recorded  in  provincial  records  and 
mentioned  in  various  places  in  this  volume.  The  only  evidences 
of  their  industry  were  the  locations  of  several  patches  of  Indian 
corn  and  beans  which  the  women  raised. 

Their  skin  was  red  or  copper-colored,  their  hair  coarse  and 
black,  and  they  had  high  cheek  bones.  The  males  were  seldom 
corpulent,  were  swift  of  foot,  quick  with  bow  and  arrow  and  later 
with  firearms,  and  very  skillful  in  the  handling  of  canoes.  Their 
home  was  the  tepee  or  wigwam,  a  few  in  after  years  having  log 
huts.  These  tepees  were  a  number  of  poles  or  saplings  covered 
with  skins  of  animals,  the  only  heat  afforded  being  from  fires 
built  upon  the  ground. 

Their  only  clothing  was  of  skins,  which  they  had  a  method  of 
curing  so  that  they  were  soft  and  pliable  and  which  they  often 
ornamented  with  paint  and  beads  made  from  shells.  Their  moc- 
casins were  of  deer  skin  and  were  without  heels.  The  females 
often  bedecked  themselves  with  mantles  made  of  feathers,  over- 
lapping each  other  similar  to  their  appearance  on  fowls.  Their 
dress  was  of  two  pieces,  a  shirt  of  leather,  ornamented  with  fringe, 
and  a  skirt  of  the  same  material  fastened  about  the  waist  by  a  belt. 
Their  hair  they  made  into  a  thick,  heavy  plait,  which  they  let  hang 
down  the  back.  Their  heads  they  usually  ornamented  with  bands 
of  wampum  or  with  a  small  skull  cap.  The  men  went  bareheaded, 
with  their  hair  fantastically  trimmed,  each  to  his  own  fancy.  The 
white  man,  with  all  his  knowledge,  has  never  been  able  to  excel  the 
Indian  method  of  tanning,  the  result  of  which  was  softness  and 

The  aborigines  had  a  peculiar  idea  of  government.  They  were 
absolutely  free,  acknowledged  no  master,  and  yielded  obedience  to 



law  only  in  so  far  as  they  chose,  and  yet  there  existed  a  primitive 
system  of  government  which  was  a  faint  type  of  that  of  our  pres- 
ent great  republic.  They  worshiped  no  graven  image,  but  spoke 
of  "the  great  spirit"  and  the  "happy  hunting  grounds."  While 
their  ideas  of  a  future  were  indistinct,  yet  they  possessed  a  belief 
in  a  hereafter.  They  had  much  reverence  for  the  forces  of  nature 
and  measured  time  by  the  sun  and  the  moon. 

They  had  rude  villages,  one  of  which  lay  opposite  the  west  end 
of  Duncannon,  on  Duncan's  Island,  known  as  "Choiniata,"  or 
"Juneauta,"  which  is  known  to  have  existed  as  late  as  1745,  the 
story  of.  which  appears  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  Duncan's  and 
llaldeman's  Islands.  In  searching  Indian  historical  data  and  tra- 
dition the  knowledge  that  there  was  an  Indian  village  in  western 
Terr}-  territory,  probably  near  Cisna's  Run,  appeared  somewhat 
vaguely.  While  it  is  impossbile  at  this  late  day  to  locate  it  ex- 
actly, it  is  practically  certain  that  it  was  located  on  lands  owned 
by  the  late  George  Bryner  and  W.  II.  hoy,  at  Cisna's  Run,  as  it 
was  on  the  north  side  of  Sherman's  Creek,  on  a  branch  of  that 
creek,  surrounding  or  near  a  deep  spring.  On  Mr.  Loy's  lands, 
'most  against  the  Bryner  line.  Cedar  Spring,  five  feet  deep,  is 
located.  Mrs.  Jacob  hoy, -of  Blain,  well  up  in  years,  had  as  an 
actual  fact  from  her  people,  the  location  of  this  village.  When  the 
writer  visited  the  location,  in  midsummer  of  1919,  Mr.  Bryner 
was  yet  living  and  pointed  out  a  mound,  near  the  Sherman's  Val- 
ley Railroad,  which  resembled  a  small  knoll.  From  William  Adair, 
an  aged  man  who  died  many  years  ago,  Mr.  Bryner  learned  that 
it  was  once  the  site  of  an  Indian  log  hut  which  he  had  seen  in  his 
youth,  probably  a  lone  reminder  of  the  old  Indian  village. 

A  neighborhood  story  connected  with  an  Indian  woman  that 
lived  in  this  hut,  the  last  of  her  clan  in  the  district,  follows: 

She  called  on  a  neighbor,  a  Mrs.  Cisna.  grandmother  of  the 
late  Dr.  William  R.  Cisna,  who  resided  near  by.  Mrs.  Cisna. 
alter  washing  her  hands,  mixed  the  ingredients,  and  kneading  the 
meal  proceeded  to  bake  corn  bread,  inviting  her  copper-colored 
caller  to  remain  for  tea,  which  she  did.  Shortly  afterwards  Mrs. 
CiMia  returned  the  call  and  was  invited  to  dine.  She  accepted, 
and  the  Indian  lady  also  washed  her  hands  and  proceeded  to  mix 
the  ingredients  for  corn  bread,  but  mixed  them  in  the  water  in 
which  she  had  washed  her  hands.  Not  wishing  to  offend  one  of 
the  race,  Mrs.  Cisna  ate  of  this  'Sanitary"  production  and,  not- 
withstanding, lived  to  a  ripe  old  age. 

Between  the  Bryner  and  Loy  homes  and  Sherman's  Creek,  oppo- 
site the  point  where  the  Moose  mill  is  located,  was  an  Indian  corn- 
field. It  is  a  bottom  field,  lying  by  the  creek,  and  is  as  level  as  a 
floor.  The  evidence  that  this  location  was  thickly  populated  at  one 
time  by  the  Indians  is  not  only  passed  down  by  spoken  word  and 


records,  but  even  in  the  year  this  is  written — [919  Ex-County 
Commissioner  A.  K.  Bryner  (since  deceased),  while  plowing  a 
truck  patch  for  his  brother,  containing  less  than  two  acres,  found 
a  half  dozen  of  line  specimens  of  Endain  arrowheads,  which  arc 
in  the  possession  of  the  writer.  In  the  past  few  years  he  has  also 
found  an  Indian  tomahawk.  Indian  tannin-  stones,  skinning  stone-. 
many  arrowheads,  etc.  Some  years  ago,  in  the  same  vicinity, 
William  Adair,  the  father  of  Ex-County  Commissioner  James  EC. 
Adair,  plowed  up  an  Indian  soapstone  pot,  a  very  rare  specimen. 
The  latter  curiosity  was  unearthed  on  the  farm  now  owned  by 
A.  N.  Lyons. 

The  Lyons  or  old  Adair  farm,  the  Bryner  and  Loy  farms,  and 
the  dee])  spring  are  all  on  the  location  of  the  old  Indian  trail, 
known  to  later  generations  as  the  "bridle  path,"  still  descernible 
on  Bowers'  Mountain,  opposite  Cisna's  Run,  from  whence  it 
crossed  westward  to  Kistler  and  around  the  foot  of  Conococheague 
Mountain  to  Juniata  County  and  the  West. 

They  were,  generally  speaking,  a  lazy,  listless  people,  addicted 
to  the  use  of  rum,  which  they  knew  as  "walking  stick,"  and  lived 
on  game,  fish  and  mussels,  the  Susquehanna  River  at  that  time 
being  prolific  of  the  two  last  named  products.  Indian  cornmeal 
was  their  only  grain  product,  their  method  of  grinding  it  being 
with  a  bowl  and  stones.  With  the  coming  of  the  early  trader  a 
market  was  created  at  their  door  for  the  skins  from  their  game, 
for  furs  for  the  fair  sex.  The  pay  was  often  in  trinkets  and 
gaudy  fabrics  for  which  the  red  man  had  a  fancy,  sometimes  in 
rum.  and  even  in  money,  hut  often  the  latter  went  for  rum  in  the 
end.  In  the  chapter  on  Duncan's  and  Haldeman's  Islands  there  is 
a  lengthy  description  of  their  mode  of  life  by  Rev.  Brainerd,  a 
missionary  who  spent  much  time  among  them.  In  the  chapter 
dealing  with  Simon  Girty  much  more  of  Indian  life  is  to  be 

When  the  pioneers  settled  the  county  a  few  Indians  refused  to 
follow  their  tribes  in  leaving  their  homes — just  as  many  older 
people  of  the  present  day  object  to  locating  in  new  sections  in  the 
latter  years  of  their  lives — and  remained.  The  Indian  woman 
mentioned  above  as  being  located  at  Cisna's  Run,  was  one  of  these, 
and  an  old  Indian,  known  as  "Indian  John,"  who  lived  near  the 
Warm  Springs,  in  Carroll  Township,  was  another.  lie  used  to 
trade  at  the  store  of  Thomas  Lebo,  at  the  point  which  later  became 
Lebo  post  office,  and  is  said  to  have  been  a  very  old  man. 

At  various  places  in  this  hook  are  recorded  the  taking  oi   cap- 
trade  at  the  store  of  Thomas  Lebo,  at  the  point  which  later  became 
now  owned  by  Mrs.  Charles  McKeehan,  located  between  Blain  and 
,  New  Germantown,  which  was  warranted  and  settled  by  John  Rhea, 
who   sold   it   to   a   family   named    1  lunter,    from   whom   the   early 


Briners  purchased  it  in  1809.  During  an  Indian  invasion  of  the 
valley  two  of  the  Hunter  children,  a  boy  and  a  girl,  were  cap- 
tured by  red  men.  The  girl  escaped  during  the  following  night 
and  returned,  but  the  boy  never  came  back.  Long  years  after- 
wards he  wrote  to  George  Black,  a  neighbor,  from  the  far  West, 
making  inquiry  as  to  the  disposition  of  his  father's  estate.  George 
Conner,  a  black-haired  child  who  was  favored  by  the  Indians  dur- 
ing his  captivity,  was  captured  near  Landisburg,  but  later  escaped. 
He  was  the  ancestor  of  Mrs.  Garland,  of  Landisburg. 

The  Indian  was  the  earliest  road  builder,  but  his  building  con- 
sisted of  making  a  mere  path  through  the  brush  either  in  the  most 
direct  line  or  by  the  line  of  least  resistance.  Evidences  of  the  old 
Indian  trails  yet  remain,  as  described  under  the  chapter  devoted 
to  trails  and  roads.  Located  along  one  of  these  old  trails  over 
Tuscarora  Mountain  is  a  large  boulder,  weighing  many  tons  and 
of  a  size  that  would  fill  a  large  room  of  an  ordinary  house,  known 
as  "Warrior  Rock,"  famous  in  legend  and  story.  They  also  had 
a  line  of  trails  following  the  mountain  tops,  so  that  their  per- 
spective was  greater.    These  they  used  in  troublesome  periods. 

At  various  places  in  the  county  there  are  old  Indian  burial 
places  which  would  substantiate  the  fact  that  Indian  villages  were 
once  located  in  those  vicinities.  There  is  one  at  Saville  post  office, 
in  Saville  Township.  This  place  was  formerly  known  as  Lane's 
Mill  and  was  a  great  hunting  and  fishing  ground  for  the  aborigines. 
Those  located  here  are  supposed  to  have  been  the  ones  which  came 
back  to  the  county  and  did  the  attacking  on  the  McMillen  place, 
near  Kistler.  An  old  legend  tells  of  their  getting  lead  near  by  for 
the  points  of  their  arrows  when  they  needed  it,  but  if  so,  their  fol- 
lowers— the  pale  face — has  failed  to  locate  it.  Several  men  well 
up  in  years  by  the  name  of  Elliott,  who  were  Indian  traders,  re- 
sided in  the  locality,  from  whom  descended  David  Elliott,  D.D., 
LL.D.,  the  noted  divine. 

There  is  also  legendary  evidence  of  an  Indian  burial  ground  at 
Blain,  at  the  old  Presbyterian  cemetery.  Many  arrowheads  are 
found  in  the  vicinity  and  a  few  years  ago,  in  excavating-  for  a 
grave,  two  skulls  were  found  placed  against  each  other,  the  skele- 
tons extending  in  opposite  directions.  Tradition  has  it  that  that 
was  the  Indian  custom  of  interment,  thus  affording  ^ome  evidence 
of  the  location  of  the  Indian  burial  place  at  this  point.  Arrow- 
heads are  found  even  to  this  day  along  Sherman's  Creek,  at  New 
Germantown,  Blain,  Landisburg,  Shermansdale  and  at  many  other 
points.  Also  at  Millerstown  and  Duncan's  Island,  in  the  Juniata 
River  territory. 

On  Quaker  Ridge,  near  the  Warm  Springs,  in  Spring  Township, 
there  is  an  Indian  grave  surrounded  by  pine  trees.  The  aged  resi- 
dents of  the  vicinity  also  recall  the  legend  of  the  three   Indian 


graves  on  the  old  Burrell  farm,  in  Carroll  Township,  now  owned 
l»\  Willis  Duncan.  Near  the  celebrated  Gibson  Rock,  along  Sher- 
man's Creek,  is  a  spring',  known  to  this  day  as  Indian  Spring. 
According  to  a  legend  six  soldiers  sent  from  the  garrison  at  Car- 
lisle during  the  Indian  uprisings,  were  waylaid  there  and  murdered. 
John  Clendenin,  a  settler  in  what  is  now  Toboyne  Township, 
was  killed  and  scalped  by  the  Indians  near  the  site  of  the  old 
Monterey  tannery.  One  of  the  saddest  of  all  the  abductions  from 
Perry  County  territory  was  the  case  of  two  children  from  the 
George  Kern  farm,  bordering  New  Germantown,  in  Toboyne 
Township.  Simon  Kern,  the  ancestor,  had  come  from  his  home  in 
Holland  and  had  located  on  the  farm  mentioned.  Two  small  Kern 
girls  were  helping  work  in  the  fields  when  lurking  Indians  car- 
ried them  away.  They  traveled  a  considerable  distance  when  they 
were  overtaken  by  night.  During  the  night  one  of  the  little  girls 
managed  to  escape  while  her  captors  slept  and  returned  to  her 
people.  The  other  remained  an  Indian  captive.  Tradition  tells  of 
a  woman  from  the  stockade  at  Fort  Robinson  returning  to  the 
farm  opposite — the  McClure  farm — and  of  her  being  killed  and 
scalped  by  lurking  redskins. 

*  According  to  James  B.  Hackett,  long  a  resident  of  New  Bloom- 
field,  whose  father  was  once  a  resident  of  Madison  Township, 
there  was  an  interesting  tradition  connected  with  his  father's  tract 
of  land  there  which  was  later  owned  by  Noble  Meredith.  A  man 
named  James  Dixon  had  first  located  it,  but  had  been  driven  out 
by  the  Indians,  and  then  took  up  a  tract  in  Centre  Township. 
John  Mitchell  then  warranted  it  January  28,  1763.  Three  Indians 
are  supposed  to  be  buried  there,  and  men  of  the  present  generation 
had  the  graves,  then  already  overgrown  mounds,  pointed  out  to 
them  in  their  early  years.  On  this  tract,  according  to  this  tradi- 
tion, was  buried  a  pot  or  kettle  of  gold  by  a  squaw,  received  in 
return  for  English  scalps  turned  over  to  the  French.  It  is  sup- 
posed to  have  been  left  by  the  Indians  when  they  were  hastily 
driven  out.  Evidently  this  story  is  a  mere  legend,  as  the  red  men 
were  too  crafty  to  tell  their  white  brethren  their  personal  and 
tribal  affairs. 

Wright's  History  names  Millerstown  as  the  scene  of  "either  a 
long  residence  or  probably  a  fierce  battle  between  the  Delaware's 
and  the  immigrating  Shawnees,"  adding  "the  location  of  the  con- 
flict was  no  doubt  near  the  canal  bridge,  for  they  were  interred  in 
a  wide  and  deep  mound,  west  of  the  house  now  the  residence  of 
Mrs.  Oliver,  and  found  by  the  workmen  who  dug  the  canal." 
Mentioning  an  Indian  village  at  or  near  Newport  and  one  at  Mil- 
lerstown, it  says:  "These  were  the  only  Indian  villages  in  Perry 
County."  As  the  soil  which  is  now  comprised  in  Perry  County 
was  inhabited  at  different  times  by  different  tribes,  and  as  Indian 


villages   were    formed   by   wigwams,   which  were  easily  movable, 
the  statement  above  is  hardly  borne  out  by  facts. 

( )n  Clemson's  Island,  opposite  the  town  of  New  Buffalo,  located 
on  the  Susquehanna  River  (not  Perry  County  soil,  however),  was 
an  Indian  mound  which  is  remembered  by  those  in  very  mature 
years  as  being  quite  prominent,  but  now  indiscernible.  There  are 
vague  accounts  of  the  torturing  of  whites  in  Pfoutz  Valley,  while 
the  relentless  savages  danced  about  the  fires  which  tortured  and 
consumed  the  unfortunates. 

The  Five;  Nations. 

The  great  western  confederacy  of  Indian  nations  was  styled  by 
the  French,  the  "Iroquois,"  generally  at  first  being  known  as  "The 
Five  Nations,"  and  later  as  "The  Six  Nations."  The  Mohawks 
are  said  to  be  the  oldest  of  the  confederacy,  the  Oneidas  joining 
them  next,  the  Onondagas  third,  the  Senecas  fourth,  and  the 
Cayugas  fifth.  About  1713  the  Tuscaroras  from  the  Carolinas 
placed  themselves  under  the  protection  of  this  "League  of  Na- 
tions, but  was  not  formally  admitted  to  membership  until  about 
1722.  The  Six  Nations  called  themselves  "Aquanuschioni," 
which  the  interpreter  tells  us  means  "United  People."  The 
Shawnees.  who  lived  on  the  west  branch  of  the  Susquehanna  and 
in  Cumberland  County  (which  then  included  Perry),  were  not  in 
this  confederacy. 

Just  when  the  Five  Nations  was  formed  is  uncertain.  There  is 
a  tradition,  according  to  the  Jesuit  Relations,  that  before  the  Eng- 
lish settlements  were  made  in  America  the  Susquehannas  had  al- 
most exterminated  the  Mohawks  in  a  ten-years'  war.  Some  his- 
torians incline  to  the  belief  that  at  that  time  the  Mohawks  ap- 
pealed to  kindred  tribes  along  the  shores  of  Lake  Ontario  for  aid 
and  that  that  was  the  beginning  of  the  Five  Nations.  It  is  prob- 
able that  the  Indian  battles  fought  at  Duncan's  Island  and  likely  at 
Millerstown  were  during  this  war  between  the  Susquehannas  and 
the  Mohawks.  Captain  John  Smith,  who  explored  Chesapeake 
Bay  in  160S.  says  the  inhabitants  of  the  Susquehanna  country 
"made  war  with  all  the  world,"  which  implies  that  they  were  then 
already  at  war  with  the  Mohawks. 

Kelker's  History  of  Dauphin  County  says:  "In  1633  they  were 
at  war  with  the  Alonquin  tribes  on  the  Delaware,  maintaining  their 
supremacy  by  butchery."  Later  they  warred  with  tribes  from 
Maryland  and  Virginia,  and  Governor  Calvert,  in  1642,  issued  a 
proclamation  declaring  them  public  enemies.  The  end  of  the  Sus- 
quehannas came  in  1675,  according  to  the  fesuit  Relations,  when 
they  were  completely  defeated  and  became  the  prisoners  and  sub- 
jects of  their  captors,  evidently  the  Mohawks,  as  Thomas  Penn, 
the  provincial  governor,  later  credited  the  Mohawks  with  owner- 


ship  of  the  lands  "by  the  conquest  of  the   [ndian  tribes  on  that 


The  Shawnees  were  a  tribe  of  Southern  Indians,  having  resided 
near  the  Spanish  possessions  in  that  territory  and  being  almost 
constantly  at  war  with  their  neighbors.  As  extermination  threat- 
ened them  they  appealed  to  the  Five  Nations  and  the  English  for 
protection,  which  was  granted  them  by  the  treaty  of  1701.  They 
settled  on  the  Susquehanna  and  its  tributaries  and  were  later  as- 
signed to  the  lands  along  the  Ohio.  However,  many  of  them  re- 
fused to  go,  and  the  others  kept  traveling  back  and  forth  from  the 
Ohio.  The  Six  Nations  resided  principally  in  New  York  State 
and  it  was  only  by  permission  that  the  Shawnees  were  allowed  to 
occupy  these  lands.  As  an  illustration  of  the  contempt  in  which 
they  were  held  listen  to  this  extract  from  a  speech  by  Cannassetego, 
diplomat  of  the  Iroquois : 

"We  conquered  you ;  we  made  women  of  you ;  you  know  you 
are  women,  and  can  no  more  sell  lands  than  women ;  nor  is  it  lit 
you  should  have  the  power  of  selling  lands,  since  you  would  abuse 
it.  The  land  that  you  claim  is  gone  through  your  guts ;  you  have 
been  furnished  with  clothes,  meat  and  drink,  by  the  goods  paid 
you  for  it,  and  now  you  want  it  again,  children  as  you  are.  But 
we  find  you  none  of  our  blood ;  you  act  a  dishonest  part,  not  only 
in  this,  but  in  other  matters ;  your  ears  are  ever  open  to  slanderous 
reports  about  your  brethren.  For  all  these  reasons  we  charge  you 
to  remove  instantly ;  we  don't  give  you  liberty  to  think  about  it. 
Don't  deliberate,  but  move  away,  and  take  this  belt  of  wampum." 

The  Delawares,  who  jointly  with  the  Shawnees  occupied  these 
lands,  were  very  much  chagrined  at  being  called  women  and  usu- 
ally offered  other  explanations  than  the  real  one. 

Murder  of  an  Early  Trader.* 

Many  of  the  early  traders,  because  of  their  cupidity,  took  ad- 
vantage of  the  Indians  by  trickery  and  thus  were  at  times  the 
cause  of  much  trouble  to  the  provincial  authorities.  Others  he- 
came  the  victims  of  their  own  greed.  An  instance  of  this  kind  is 
reproduced  here  in  its  original  form  for  various  reasons.  At  that 
time  Duncan's  Island,  then  known  as  Juniata  Island,  was  a  centre 
for  traders  and  "McKee's  Place,"  which  was  just  around  the  lower 
end  of  Peters'  Mountain,  was  also  already  inhabited  by  a  number 
of  these  people. 

In  this  vicinity  resided  John  Armstrong,  or  at  least  that  is  the 
impression  formed  from  the  fact  that  among  the  names  on  the 
affidavit  are  those  of  Thomas  McKce,  Francis  Ellis,  and  William 
Baskins,  who  were  among  the  searching  party,   who  are  known 

*From  Conrad  Weiser's  journal. 

Note. — Shikellamy  was  sometimes  spelled  Shickcalamy. 


tn  have  been  inhabitants  here,  and  it  is  also  probable  that  actions 
of  those  clays  were  largely  as  they  exist  to  this  day,  in  which  a 
man's  neighbors  are  those  whose  aid  is  first  sought  whose  names 
are  usually  used  in  evidence.  There  is  record  of  the  three  pioneers 
above  named  being  located  here  in  1752,  or  eight  years  thereafter, 
and  they  probably  were  already  here  in  1744. 

Mnsemeelin  was  of  the  Indian  tribe  that  inhabited  the  Susque- 
hanna Valley.  In  order  to  let  the  rising  generation  get  a  glimpse 
of  the  methods  used  to  adjust  difficulties  between  the  province  and 
the  Indians  the  documentary  evidence  and  communications  are 
printed  in  full.     It  follows: 

Before  Cumberland  County  was  created,  when  the  soil  of  Perry 
was  yet  an  Indian  domain,  in  1744,  one  John  Armstrong,  a  trader 
witli  the  Indians  west  of  the  Susquehanna,  and  two  of  his  em- 
ployes, James  Smith  and  Woodward  Arnold,  were  murdered  by 
an  Indian  of  the  Delawares  on  the  Juniata  River.  Seven  settlers, 
accompanied  by  five  Indians,  made  a  search  and  found  the  bodies. 
The  murderer  was  apprehended  and  turned  over  to  the  authorities, 
being  first  imprisoned  at  the  county  seat  at  Lancaster,  and  later 
removed  to  Philadelphia,  as  his  countrymen  were  about  to  assemble 
in  conference  with  the  whites  at  Lancaster,  and  it  was  deemed  that 
his  presence  there  might  cause  friction.  The  Colonial  governor 
ordered  Armstrong's  property  returned  to  his  people  and  asked 
that  a  delegation  attend  the  trial  of  the  culprit  and  his  execution, 
if  found  guilty.  A  brother  of  the  murdered  man,  named  Alex- 
ander Armstrong,  of  Lancaster  County,  wrote  a  letter  to  the  king 
of  the  1  )elawares — Allumoppies — at  Shamokin,  bearing  on  his 
brother's  death  and  also  threats  made  against  himself: 

April  25,  1744. 

To  Allumoppies,  King  of  the  Delawares:  Great  Sir,  as  a  parcel  of  your 
men  have  murdered  my  brother,  and  two  of  his  men,  I  wrote  you,  know- 
ing you  to  be  a  king  of  justice,  that  you  will  send  us  in  all  the  murderers 
and  the  men  that  were  with  them.  As  I  looked  for  the  corpse  of  my 
murdered  brother;  for  that  reason  your  men  threaten  my  life,  and  I  can- 
not live  in  my  house.  Now  as  we  have  no  inclination  or  mind  to  go  to 
war  with  you,  our  friends,  as  a  friend  I  desire  that  you  will  keep  your 
men  from  doing  me  harm,  and  also  to  send  the  murderers  and  their  com- 
panions.   I  expect  an  answer;    and  am  your  much  hurt  friend  and  brother. 

Alexander  Armstrong. 

According  to  the  following  deposition  the  bodies  of  the  mur- 
dered men  were  found  after  a  search  was  made: 

Paxton,  April  19,  1744. 
The  deposition  of  the  subscribers  testifieth  and  saith,  that  the  subscribers 
having  a  suspicion  that  John  Armstrong,  trader,  together  with  his  men, 
Tames  Smith  and  Woodward  Arnold,  were  murdered  by  the  Indians. 
They  met  at  the  house  of  Joseph  Chambers,  in  Paxton,*  and  there  con- 
sulted to  go  to  Shamokin,  to  consult  with  the  Delaware  King  and  Shikel- 

*Now  Fort  Hunter. 


lamy,  and  there  council  what  they  should  do  concerning  the  affair,  where- 
upon the  king  and  council  ordered  eight  of  their  men  to  go  with  the 
deponents  to  the  house  of  James  Berry  in  order  to  go  in  quest  of  the 
murdered  persons,  but  that  night  they  came  to  the  said  Berry's  house, 
three  of  the  eight  Indians  ran  away,  and  the  next  morning  these  deponents, 
with  the  five  Indians  that  remained,  set  out  on  their  journey  peaceably 
to  the  last  supposed  sleeping  place  of  the  deceased,  and  upon  their  arrival 
these  deponents  dispersed  themselves  in  order  to  find  out  the  corpse  of 
the  deceased,  and  one  of  the  deponents,  named  James  Berry,  a  small  dis- 
tance from  the  aforesaid  sleeping  place,  came  to  a  white  oak  tree  which 
had  three  notches  on  it,  and  close  by  said  tree  he  found  a  shoulder  bone, 
which  the  deponent  does  suppose  to  be  John  Armstrong's,  and  that  he 
himself  showed  it  to  his  companions,  one  of  whom  handed  it  to  the  said 
five  Indians  to  know  what  bone  it  was,  and  they  after  passing  different 
sentiments  upon  it,  handed  it  to  a  Delaware  Indian,  who  was  suspected 
by  the  deponents,  and  they  testify  and  say,  that  as  soon  as  the  Indian 
took  the  bone  in  his  hand,  his  nose  gushed  out  with  blood,  and  directly 
handed  it  to  another.  From  whence  these  deponents  steered  along  a 
path  about  three  or  four  miles  to  the  Narrows  of  Juniata,  where  they  sus- 
pected the  murder  to  have  been  committed,  and  where  the  Allegheny  road 
crosses  the  creek,  these  deponents  sat  down  in  order  to  consult  on  what 
measures  to  take  in  order  to  proceed  on  a  discovery.  Whereupon  most  of 
the  white  men,  these  deponents,  crossed  the  creek  again,  and  went  down 
the  creek,  and  crossed  into  an  island,  where  these  deponents  had  intelli- 
gence the  corpse  had  been  thrown;  and  there  they  met  the  rest  of  the 
white  men  and  Indians,  who  were  in  company,  and  there  consulted  to  go 
further  down  the  creek  in  quest  of  the  corpse,  and  these  deponents  further 
say,  they  ordered  the  Indians  to  go  down  the  creek  on  the  other  side ;  but 
they  all  followed  these  deponents,  at  a  small  distance,  except  one  Indian, 
who  crossed  the  creek  again;  and  soon  after,  these  deponents  seeing 
some  Bald  eagles  and  other  fowls,  suspected  the  corpse  to  be  thereabouts ; 
and  then  lost  sight  of  the  Indians,  and  immediately  found  one  of  the 
corpse,  which  these  deponents  say,  was  the  corpse  of  James  Smith,  one 
of  said  Armstrong's  men;  and  directly  upon  finding  the  corpse  these  de- 
ponents heard  three  shots  of  guns,  which  they  had  great  reason  to  think 
were  the  Indians,  their  companions,  who  had  deserted  from  them ;  and  in 
order  to  let  them  know  that  they  had  found  the  corpse,  these  deponents 
fired  three  guns,  but  to  no  purpose,  for  they  never  saw  the  Indians  any 
more.  And  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  further  down  the  creek,  they  saw 
more  Bald  eagles,  whereupon  they  made  down  towards  the  place,  where 
they  found  another  corpse  (being  the  corpse  of  Woodward  Arnold,  the 
other  servant  of  said  Armstrong)  lying  on  a  rock,  and  then  went  to  the 
former  sleeping  place,  where  they  had  appointed  to  meet  the  Indians;  hut 
saw  no  Indians,  only  that  the  Indians  had  been  there  and  cooked  some 
victuals  for  themselves,  and  had  gone  off. 

All  that  night,  the  deponents  further  say,  they  had  great  reason  to  sus- 
pect that  the  Indians  were  then  thereabouts,  and  intended  to  do  them 
some  damage;  for  a  dog  these  deponents  had  with  them,  barked  that 
night,  which  was  remarkable,  for  the  said  dog  had  not  barked  all  the  time 
they  were  out,  till  that  night,  nor  ever  since,  which  occasioned  these  de- 
ponents to  stand  upon  their  guard  behind  trees,  with  their  guns  cocked 
that  night.  Next  morning  these  deponents  went  back  to  the  corpses  which 
they  found  to  be  barbarously  and  inhumanly  murdered,  by  very  gashed, 
deep  cuts  on  their  heads  with  a  tomahawk  or  such  like  weapon,  which  had 
sunk  into  their  skulls  and  brains;  and  in  one  of  the  corpses  there  ap- 
peared a  hole  in  his  skull  near  the  cut,  which  was  supposed  to  be  made 


with  a  tomahawk,  which  hole  these  deponents  do  believe  to  be  a  bullet 
hole.  And  these  deponents,  after  taking  a  particular  view  of  the  corpses, 
as  their  melancholy  condition  would  admit,  they  buried  them  as  decently 
as  their  circumstances  would  allow,  and  returned  home  to  Paxton,  the 
Allegheny  road  to  John  Harris';  thinking  it  dangerous  to  return  the  same 
way  they  went  out.     And  further  these  deponents  say  not. 

These  same  deponents  being  legally  qualified,  before  me,  James  Arm- 
strong, one  of  his  majesty's  justices  of  the  peace  for  the  county  of  Lan- 
caster, have  hereunto  set  their  hands  in  testimony  thereof. 

James  Armstrong. 
Alexander   Armstrong,   Thomas    McKee,    Francis   Ellis,   John   Florster, 
William    Baskins,    James    Berry,    John    Watt,    James    Armstrong,    David 

The  reader  will  note  that  the  circumstances  stated  and  those 
following  relate  to  what  was  probably  the  first  Indian  massacre  in 
the  vicinity,  that  our  country  was  yet  in  "His  Majesty's"  domain, 
and  that  the  nearest  county  seat  was  then  Lancaster.  The  mas- 
sacre was  so  shocking  to  the  pioneers  that  a  Provincial  Council 
was  assembled,  the  result  of  which  was  that  the  provincial  inter- 
preter and  Indian  agent,  Conrad  Weiser,  was  dispatched  in  the 
name  of  the  governor  to  Shamokin,  to  make  demands  for  several 
others  concerned  in  the  murder. 

As  this  document,  the  proceedings  of  the  council,  has  been  pre- 
served for  posterity,  it  is  reproduced  here,  spelling,  language,  etc., 
just  as  recorded,  probably  being  the  first  case  for  that  territory 
where  an  Indian  Council  became  necessary  to  the  settlement  of 
a  matter  which  was  vital  between  the  Indians  and  the  provincial 

At  a  council,  April  25,  1744. — "The  governor,  George  Thomas,  laid  be- 
fore the  Board  a  letter  dated  April  22,  1744,  from  Mr.  Cookson,  at  Lan- 
caster, purporting  that  John  Armstrong,  an  Indian  trader,  with  his  two 
servants,  Woodward  Arnold  and  James  Smith,  had  been  murdered  at 
Juniata  by  three  Delaware  Indians,  and  that  John  Musemeelin  and  John- 
sun  of  Neshalleeny,  two  of  the  Indians  concerned  in  the  murder  had  been 
seized  by  the  order  of  Shikellamy,  and  the  other  Indian  chiefs  at  Sha- 
mokin, and  sent  under  a  guard  of  Indians  to  be  delivered  up  to  justice; 
that  one  was  actually  delivered  up  in  jail  at  Lancaster;  but  the  other  had 
made  his  escape  from  the  persons  to  whose  care  he  was  committed. 

"His  honor  then  sent  to  the  chief  justice  to  consult  him  about  the  steps 
proper  to  be  taken  to  bring  the  Indian  to  his  trial,  but  as  he  was  absent  at 
a  Court  of  Oyer  and  Terminer  in  Bucks  County,  it  was  the  opinion  of  the 
Board  that  the  Indian,  Musemeelin,  should  be  immediately  removed  to 
Philadelphia  jail,  and  that  Conrad  Weiser  should  be  immediately  dis- 
patched to  the  chiefs  of  the  Delaware  Indians  at  Shamokin  to  make  a 
peremptory  demand  in  his  honor's  name  of  the  other  murderers  concerned, 
and  that  Shikellamy  and  the  other  Indians  there  do  order  immediate  search 
to  be  made  for  the  goods  of  which  the  deceased  was  robbed,  in  order  to 
their  being  put  into  the  hands  of  his  brother  for  the  satisfaction  of  his 
creditors,  or  the  support  of  his  family.  And  at  the  same  time  to  inform 
them  that  the  chiefs  of  the  Indians  which  shall  meet  at  Lancaster  on  the 
treaty  with  our  neighboring  governments,  will  be  desired  to  depute  some 


of  their  number  to  be  present  at  the  trial  and  at  the  execution  of  such  as 
shall  be   found  .guilty. 

"Conrad  Weiser  was  accordingly  sent  to  Shamokin.  He  writes  in  his 
journal,  Shamokin,  May  2d,  1744:  This  day  I  delivered  the  governor's 
message  to  Allumoppies,  the  Delaware  chief,  and  the  rest  of  the  Dela- 
ware Indians  in  the  presence  of  Shikellamy  and  a  few  more  of  the  Six 
Nations.  The  purport  of  which  was  that  1  was  sent  express  by  the  gover 
nor  and  council  to  demand  those  that  had  been  concerned  with  Musemeelin 
in  murdering  John  Armstrong,  Woodward  Arnold  and  James  Smith;  that 
their  bodies  might  be  searched  for,  and  decently  buried ;  that  the  goods 
be  likewise  found  and  restored  without  fraud.  It  was  delivered  them  by 
me  in  the  Mohawk  language,  and  interpreted  into  Delaware  by  Andrew, 
Madame  Montour's  son. 

"In  the  afternoon  Allumoppies,  in  the  presence  of  the  aforesaid  Indians, 
made  the  following  answers : 

"Brother,  the  Governor :  It  is  true  that  we,  the  Delaware  Indians,  by 
the.  investigation  of  the  evil  spirit,  have  murdered  James  Armstrong  and 
his  men ;  we  have  transgressed  and  we  are  ashamed  to  look  up.  We 
have  taken  the  murderer  and  delivered  him  to  the  relations  of  the  de- 
ceased, to  be  dealt  with  according  to  his  works. 

"Brother,  the  Governor:  Your  demand  for  the  guard  is  very  just;  we 
have  gathered  some  of  them;  we  will  do  the  utmost  of  what  we  can  to 
find  them  all.  We  do  not  doubt  but  that  we  can  find  out  the  most  part, 
and  whatever  is  wanting,  we  will  make  up  with  skins,  which  is  what  the 
guard  are  sent  for  to  the  woods. 

"Brother,  the  Governor:  The  dead  bodis  are  buried.  It  is  certain  that 
John  Armstrong  was  buried  by  the  murderer,  and  the  other  two  by  those 
that  searched  for  them.  Our  hearts  are  in  mourning,  and  we  are  in  a 
dismal  condition,  and  cannot  say  anything  at  present. 

"Then  Shikellamy  with  the  rest  of  the  Indians  of  the  Six  Nations  there 
present  said : 

"Brother,  the  Governor:  We  have  been  all  misinformed  on  both  sides 
about  the  unhappy  accident.  Musemeelin  has  certainly  murdered  the  three 
white  men  himself,  and  upon  his  bare  accusation  of  Neshaleeny's  son, 
which  was  nothing  but  spite,  the  said  Neshaleeny's  son  was  seized,  and 
made  a  prisoner.  Our  cousins,  the  Delaware  Indians,  being  then  drunk, 
in  particular  Allumoppies,  never  examined  things,  but  made  an  innocent 
person  prisoner,  which  gave  a  great  deal  of  disturbance  amongst  us. 
However  the  two  prisoners  were  sent,  and  by  the  way  in  going  down  the 
river  they  stopped  at  the  house  of  James  Berry;  James  told  the  young 
man,  'I  am  sorry  to  see  you  in  such  a  condition,  I  have  known  you 
from  a  boy,  and  always  loved  you.'  Then  the  young  man  seemed  to  be 
very  much  struck  to  the  heart,  and  said,  'I  have  said  nothing  yet,  but  I 
will  tell  all,  let  all  the  Indians  come  up,  and  the  white  people  also,  they 
shall  hear  it.'  And  then  told  Musemeelin  in  the  presence  of  all  the  peo- 
ple: 'Now  I  am  going  to  die  for  your  wickedness;  you  have  killed  all 
the  three  white  men.  I  never  did  intend  to  kill  any  of  them.'  Then 
Musemeelin  in  anger  said:  'It  is  true,  I  have  killed  them;  I  am  a  man, 
you  are  a  coward;  it  is  a  great  satisfaction  to  me  to  have  killed  them; 
I  will  die  with  joy  for  having  killed  a  great  rogue  and  his  companions.' 
Upon  which  the  young  man  was  set  at  liberty  by  the  Indians. 

"We  desire  therefore  our  brother,  the  governor,  will  not  insist  to  have 
either  of  the  two  young  men  in  prison  or  condemned  to  die;  it  is  not 
with  Indians  as  with  white  people,  to  put  people  in  prison  on  suspicion 
or  -trifles.  Indians  must  first  be  found  guilty  of  a  crime,  then  judgment 
is  given  and  immediately  executed.     We   will  give  you   faithfully  all  the 


particulars;  and  at  the  ensuing  treaty  entirely  satisfy  you;  in  the  mean- 
time we  desire  that  good  friendship  and  harmony  continue;  and  that  we 
may  live  long  together,  is  the  hearty  desire  of  your  brethren,  the  Indians 
of  the  United   Six   Nations  present  at  Shamokin. 

"The  following  is  what  Shikellamy  declared  to  he  the  truth  of  the  story 
concerning  the  murder  of  John  Armstrong,  Woodward  Arnold  and  James 
Smith  from  the  beginning  to  the  end,  to  wit: 

"That  Musemeelin  owing  some  skins  to  John  Armstrong,  the  said  Arm- 
strung  seized  a  horse  of  the  said  Musemeelin  and  a  rifle  gun;  the  gun 
was  taken  by  James  Smith,  deceased.  Some  time  last  winter  Musemeelin 
met  Armstrong  on  the  river  Juniata,  and  paid  all  but  twenty  shillings, 
for  which  he  offered  a  neck-belt  in  pawn  to  Armstrong  and  demanded 
his  horse,  and  James  Armstrong  refused  it,  and  would  not  deliver  up  the 
horse,  but  enlarged  the  debt,  as  his  usual  custom  was,  and  after  some 
quarrel  the  Indian  went  away  in  great  anger  without  his  horse  to  his 
hunting  cabin.  Some  time  after  this,  Armstrong,  with  his  two  companions 
on  their  way  to  Ohio,  passed  by  the  said  Musemeelin's  hunting  cabin,  his 
wife,  only  being  at  home,  demanded  the  horse  of  Armstrong,  because  he 
was  her  proper  goods,  but  didn't  get  him.  Armstrong  had  by  this  time 
sold  or  lent  the  horse  to  James  Berry;  after  Musemeelin  came  from 
hunting,  his  wife  told  him  that  Armstrong  was  gone  by,  and  that  she 
demanded  the  horse  of  him,  but  did  not  get  him — and  as  is  thought 
pressed  him  to  pursue  and  take  revenge  of  Armstrong.  The  third  day 
in  the  morning  after  James  Armstrong  was  gone  by,  Musemeelin  said  to 
the  two  young  men  that  hunted  with  him,  come  let  us  go  toward  the  Great 
Hills  to  hunt  bears;  accordingly  they  went  all  three  in  company;  after 
they  had  gone  a  good  way  Musemeelin,  who  was  foremost,  was  told  by 
the  two  young  men  that  they  were  out  of  their  course.  Come  you  along, 
said  Musemeelin,  and  they  accordingly  followed  him  till  they  came  to  the 
path  that  leads  to  the  Ohio.  Then  Musemeelin  told  them  he  had  a  good 
mind  to  go  and  fetch  his  horse  back  from  Armstrong,  and  desired  the 
two  young  men  to  come  along;  accordingly  they  went.  It  was  then  al- 
most night  and  they  traveled  till  next  morning.  Musemeelin  said,  now  they 
are  not  far  off.  We  will  make  ourselves  black,  then  they  will  be  frightened 
and  will  deliver  up  the  horse  immediately,  and  I  will  tell  Jack  that  if  he 
does  not  give  me  the  horse  I  will  kill  him,  and  when  he  said  so  he 
laughed.  The  young  men  thought  he  joked,  as  he  used  to  do.  They  did 
not  blacken  themselves,  but  he  did.  When  the  sun  was  above  the  trees, 
or  about  an  hour  high,  they  all  came  to  the  fire,  where  they  found  James 
Smith  sitting,  and  they  also  sat  down.  Musemeelin  asked  where  Jack 
was ;  Smith  told  him  that  he  was  gone  to  clear  the  road  a  little.  Muse- 
meelin said  he  wanted  to  speak  to  him,  and  went  that  way,  and  after  he 
had  gone  a  little  distance  from  the  fire,  he  said  something,  and  looked 
back  laughing,  but  he  having  a  thick  throat,  and  his  speech  being  very 
had,  and  their  talking  with  Smith,  hindered  them  from  understanding 
what  he  said;  they  did  not  mind  it.  They  being  hungry,  Smith  told  them 
to  kill  some  turtles,  of  which  they  were  plenty,  and  we  would  make  some 
bread,  and  by  and  by,  they  would  all  eat  together.  While  they  were 
talking,  they  heard  a  gun  go  off  not  far  off,  at  which  time  Woodward 
Arnold  was  killed,  as  they  learned  afterwards.  Soon  after  Musemeelin 
came  back  and  said,  why  did  you  not  kill  that  white  man  according  as  I 
bid  you?  At  this  they  were  surprised,  and  one  of  the  young  men  com- 
monly called  Jimmy,  run  away  to  the  riverside.  Musemeelin  said  to  the 
other,  how  will  you  do  to  kill  Catabaws,  if  you  cannot  kill  white  men? 
You  cowards,  I'll  show  you  how  you  must  do;  and  then  taking  up  the 
English  axe  that   lay  there,  he  struck  it  three  times  into  Smith's  head,  be- 


fore  he   died.     Smith  never   stirred.     Then    he   told   the   young    Indian   to 
call   the   other;    but   he   was   so  terrified   he  could  not  call.      Musemeelin 
then  went  and  fetched  him  and  said  to  him  that  two  of  the  white  men 
were  killed,  he  must  now  go  and  kill  the  third;    then  each  of  them  would 
have  killed  one.    But  neither  of  them  dare  venture  to  talk  anything  about 
it.     Then  he  pressed  them  to  go  along  with  him— he  went  foremQSl  ;    then 
one  of  the  young  men  told  the  other  as  they  went  along,  my  friend,  don't 
you  kill  any  of  the  white  people,  let  him  do  what  he  will ;    I  have  not 
killed  Smith,  he  has  done  it  himself,  we  have  no  need  to  do  such  a  bar- 
barous thing.    Musemeelin  being  then  a  good  way  before  them  in  a  hurry, 
they  soon  saw  John  Armstrong  sitting  upon  an  old  log.    Musemeelin  spoke 
to  him  and  said,  where  is  my  horse?     Armstrong  made  answer  and  said, 
he  will  come  by  and  by,  you   shall  have  him.     I   want   him  now,   said 
Musemeelin.     Armstrong  answered,  you  shall  have  him.     Come  let  us  go 
to  that  fire — which  was  at  some  distance  from  the  place  where  Armstrong 
sat— and   let  us   talk  and    smoke   together.     Go   along  then,   said   Muse- 
meelin.    I  am  coming,  said  Armstrong,  do  you  go  before;    Musemeelin, 
do  you  go  foremost.     Armstrong  looked  then  like  a  dead  man,  and  went 
toward  the  fire  and  was  immediately  shot  in  his  back  by  Musemeelin  and 
fell.     Musemeelin  then  took  his  hatchet  and  struck  it  into  Armstrong's 
head,  and  said,  give  me  my  horse,  I  tell  you.     By  this  time  one  of  the 
young  men  had  fled  again  that  had  gone  away  before,  but  he  returned  in 
a  short  time.     Musemeelin  then  told  the  young  men,  they  must  not  offer 
to  discover  or  tell  a  word  about  what  had  been  done  for  their  lives,  but 
they  must  help  to  bury  Jack,  and  the  other  two  were  to  be  thrown  into 
the  river.     After  that  was  done   Musemeelin  ordered  them   to  load  the 
horses  and  follow  towards  the  hill,  where  they  intended  to  hide  the  goods ; 
accordingly  they  did  and  as  they  were  going,  Musemeelin  told  them  that 
as   there   were   a   great   many   Indians   hunting   about   that   place,   if   they 
should  happen  to  meet  with  any,  they  must  be  killed  to  prevent  betraying 
them.      As   they   went   along,    Musemeelin    going   before,   the   two    young 
men  agreed  to  run  away  as  soon  as  they  could  meet  with  any  Indians, 
and  not  to   hurt  anybody.     They  came   to   the   desired   place,    the   horses 
were  unloaded,  and  Musemeelin  opened  the  bundles  and  offered  the  two 
young  men  each  a  parcel  of  goods.    They  told  him  that  they  had  already 
sold  their  skins,  and  everybody  knew  they  had  nothing,  they  would  cer- 
tainly be  charged  with  a  black  action,  were  they  to  bring  any  goods  to  the 
town,  and  therefore  they  would  not  accept  of  any;    but  promised  never- 
theless not  to  betray  him.     Now,  says  Musemeelin,  [  know  what  you  were 
talking  about  when  you  stayed  so  far  behind. 

"The  two  young  men  being  in  great  danger  of  losing  their  lives— of 
which  they  had  been  much  afraid  all  that  day— accepted  of  what  he  of- 
fered to  them,  and  the  rest  of  the  goods  they  put  in  a  heap  and  covered 
them  from  the  rain,  and  then  went  to  their  hunting  cabin.  Musemeelin 
unexpectedly  finding  two  or  three  more  Indians  there,  laid  down  his 
goods,  and  said  he  had  killed  Jack  Armstrong  and  taken  pay  for  his  horse, 
and  should  any  of  them  discover  it,  that  person  he  would  likewise  kill; 
but  otherwise  they  might  all  take  a  part  of  the  goods.  The  young  man, 
called  Jitumy,  went  away  to  Shamokin,  after  Musemeelin  was  gone  to 
bury  the  goods  with  three  more  Indians,  with  whom  he  had  prevailed; 
one  of  them  was  Neshaleeny's  son,  whom  he  had  ordered  to  kill  James 
Smith,  but  these  Indians  would  not  have  any  of  the  goods.  Some  time 
after  the  young  Indian  had  been  in  Shamokin,  it  was  whispered  about 
that  some  of  the  Delaware  Indians  had  killed  Armstrong  and  his  men. 
A  drunken  Indian  came  to  one  of  the  Tudolous  houses  at  night  and  told 
the  man  of  the  house  that  he  could  tell  him  a  piece  of  bad  news.    What 


is  that?  said  the  other.  The  drunken  man  said,  some  of  our  Deleware 
Indians  have  killed  Armstrong  and  his  men,  which,  if  our  chiefs  should 
not  resent,  and  take  them  up,  I  will  kill  them  myself  to  prevent  a  dis- 
turbance between  us  and  the  white  people,  our  brother.  Next  morning 
Shikellamy  and  some  other  Indians  of  the  Delawares  were  called  to  assist 
Allomoppies   in  council. 

"When  Shikellamy  and  Allumoppies  got  one  of  the  Tudolous  Indians  to 
write  a  letter  to  me  to  desire  me  to  come  to  Shamokin  in  all  haste  ;  that 
the  Indians  were  much  dissatisfied  in  mind.  This  letter  was  brought  to 
my  house  by  four  Delaware  Indians  sent  express ;  but  I  was  then  in 
Philadelphia,  and  when  I  came  home  and  found  all  particulars  mentioned 
in  this  letter,  and  that  none  of  the  Indians  of  the  Six  Nations  had  been 
down,  I  did  not  care  to  meddle  with  Delaware  Indian  affairs,  and  staid 
at  home  till  I  received  the  governor's  orders  to  go,  which  was  about  two 
weeks  after.  Allumoppies  was  advised  by  his  council  to  employ  a  con- 
jurer, as  they  call  it  to  find  out  the  murderer;  accordingly  he  did  and  the 
Indians  met ;  the  seer  being  busy  all  night,  told  them  in  the  morning  to 
examine  such  and  such  an  one,  they  were  present  when  Armstrong  was 
killed,  naming  the  two  young  men ;  Musemeelin  was  present.  Accordingly 
Allumoppies,  Quietheyyquent  and  Thomas  Green,  an  Indian,  went  to  him 
that  had  fled  first  and  examined  him;  he  told  the  whole  story  very  freely; 
then  they  went  to  the  other,  but  he  would  not  say  a  word,  but  went  away 
and  left  them.  The  three  Indians  returned  to  Shikellamy  and  informed 
of  what  discovery  they  had  made.  When  it  was  agreed  to  secure  the 
murderers,  and  deliver  them  up  to  the  white  people,  a  great  noise  arose 
among  the  Delaware  Indians,  and  some  were  afraid  of  their  lives  and 
went  into  the  woods  ;  not  one  cared  to  meddle  with  Musemeelin,  and  the 
other  that  could  not  be  prevailed  on  to  discover  anything,  because  of  the 
resentment  of  their  families;  but  they  being  pressed  by  Shikellamy's 
son  to  secure  the  murderers,  otherwise  they  would  be  cut  off  from  the 
chain  of  friendship;  four  or  five  of  the  Delawares  made  Musemeelin 
and  the  other  young  man  prisoners  and  tied  them  both.  They  lay  twenty- 
four  hours  and  none  would  venture  to  conduct  them  down ;  because  of 
the  great  division  among  the  Delaware  Indians,  and  Allumoppies  in  danger 
of  being  killed,  fled  to  Shikellamy  and  begged  for  protection.  At  last 
Shikellamy's  son  Jack  went  to  the  Delawares,  most  of  them  being  drunk, 
as  they  had  been  for  several  days,  and  told  them  to  deliver  the  prisoners 
to  Alexander  Armstrong,  and  they  were  afraid  to  do  it ;  they  might  sepa- 
rate their  heads  from  their  bodies,  and  lay  them  in  the  canoe,  and  carry 
them  to  Alexander  to  roast  and  eat  them,  that  would  satisfy  his  revenge, 
as  he  wants  to  eat  Indians.  They  prevailed  with  the  said  Jack  to  assist 
them,  and  accordingly  he  and  his  brother  and  some  of  the  Delawares 
went  with  two  canoes  and  carried  them   off." 

No   available  records  remain  to  show   the  final   disposition   of ' 

According  to  a  record  left  by  John  Harris,  of  Harris'  Ferry 
(now  Harrisburg),  Jack's  Narrows,  near  Mapleton  on  the  Juniata, 
came  to  be  named  this  way.  Harris  referred  to  them  thus:  "Jack 
Armstrong's  narrows,  so  called  from  his  being  there  murdered." 
Other  writers  claim  they  were  called  after  Captain  Jack,  a  reso- 
lute Indian  hater,  described  elsewhere  in  this  book.  While  either 
may  be  the  truth,  yet  the  fact  that  the  murder  happened  at  this 
point  inclines  one  to  believe  that  the  mountain  was  named  after 
the  trader,  Armstrong,  who  was  murdered  there. 

CHAPTER   111. 

THE  lands  now  comprising  Perry  County  probably  caused 
the  provincial  government  a  greater  amount  of  anxiety  dur- 
ing a  number  of  years  than  any  other  in  Pennsylvania.  In 
a  treaty  made  with  the  Indians  for  certain  lands  west  of  the  Sus- 
quehanna River  no  lands  north  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Moun- 
tains were  included,  yet  notwithstanding  this  fact  pioneers,  im- 
patient over  the  delays  of  the  land  office,  began  entering  the  val- 
leys between  the  Kittatinny  and  Tuscarora  ranges,  as  well  as  north 
of  the  latter,  erected  cabins  and  started  to  clear  the  lands,  without 
the  sanction  of  the  provincial  authorities,  as  the  following  pages 

A  large  delegation  of  Iroquois  journeyed  to  Philadelphia  in 
July,  1742,  to  receive  the  second  and  last  payment  for  the  lands 
which  were  sold  to  the  proprietary  in  1736.  Canassatego,  a  chief, 
made  a  speech  in  which  he  refers  to  the  Juniata  lands,  which  in- 
clude the  soil  of  Perry  County  and  which  was  a  matter  of  con- 
tention for  years,  finally  leading  to  the  burning  of  the  cabins  of 
"squatters,"  as  portrayed  further  on  in  this  chapter.  He  said: 
"We  know  our  lands  are  now  become  more  valuable ;  the  white  people 
think  we  do  not  know  their  value,  but  we  are  sensible  that  the  land  is 
everlasting,  and  the  few  goods  we  receive  for  it  are  soon  worn  out  and 
gone.  For  the  future  we  will  sell  no  lands,  but  when  our  brother  Onas 
(William  Penn)  is  in  the  country,  and  we  will  know  before  hand  the 
quantity  of  goods  we  are  to  receive.  Besides,  we  are  not  well  used  with 
respect  to  the  lands  still  unsold  by  us.  Your  people  daily  settle  on  these 
lands  and  spoil  our  hunting.  We  must  insist  on  your  removing  them,  as 
you  know  they  have  no  right  to  the  northward  of  Kittochtinny  Hills.  In 
particular,  we  renew  our  complaints  against  some  people  who  are  settled 
at  Juniata,  a  branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  and  all  along  the  banks  of  that 
river,  as  far  as  Mahaniay,  and  desire  that  they  may  be  made  forthwith  to 
go  off  the  land,  for  they  do  great  damage  to  our  cousins,  the  Delawares." 

This  was  not  their  first  protest,  as  the  governor's  reply  would 
indicate.  He  replied  that  "on  your  former  complaints  against  peo- 
ple settling  the  land  on  Juniata,  and  from  thence  all  along  the  river 
Susquehanna  as  far  as  Mahaniay,  some  magistrates  were  sent  ex- 
pressly to  remove  them,  and  we  thought  no  person  would  stay 
after  that."  To  which  the  Indians  rejoined,  "These  persons  who 
were  sent  did  not  do  their  duty ;  so  far  from  removing  the  people, 
they  made  surveys  for  themselves  and  they  are  in  league  with  the 
trespassers.  We  desire  more  effectual  methods  to  be  used,  and 
honester  persons  employed." 



The  governor  promised  them  this  would  be  done  and  after  let- 
ting the  period  between  July  7  and  October  5  elapse  he  issued  a 
proclamation  from  the  contents  of  which  one  would  infer  that 
the  sections  most  in  contention  were  at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata 
and  probably  as  far  as  the  Juniata  County  line  and  in  Fulton 
County  and  up  the  Susquehanna  as  far  as  Wyoming. 

These  lands  were  among  the  choicest  of  the  Indians,  who  made 
their  living  by  hunting  and  fishing,  being  especially  noted  as  a  great 
hunting  ground  for  deer,  probably  excelling  all  others,  as  the  fol- 
lowing extract  from  a  letter  by  Conrad  Weiser,  the  interpreter, 
dated  April  22,  1749,  will  show:  He  was  on  his  way  to  Shamokin 
with  a  messenger  from  the  provincial  government  to  the  Indians 
and  met  the  sons  of  Shikellamy,  at  the  trading  house  of  Thomas 
McKee,  and  delivered  to  them  the  message,  as  he  had  been  in- 
formed that  all  the  Indians  were  absent  from  Shamokin.  In  the 
letter  referred  to,  addressd  to  Richard  Peters,  secretary  of  the 
province,  having  just  returned  from  this  trip,  he  writes: 

"The  Indians  are  very  uneasy  about  the  white  people  settling  beyond 
the  Endless  Mountains,  on  Joniady  (Juniata),  on  Sherman's  Creek  and 
elsewhere.  They  tell  me  that  about  thirty  families  are  settled  upon  the 
Indian  lands  this  spring,  and  daily  more  go  to  settle  thereon.  Some  have 
settled  almost  to  the  head  of  Joniady  River  along  the  path  that  leads  to 
Ohio.  The  Indians  say  (and  that  with  truth)  that  that  country  is  their 
only  hunting  ground  for  deer,  because  farther  to  the  north,  there  was 
nothing  but  spruce  woods  and  the  ground  covered  with  calmia  (laurel) 
bushes,  not  a  single  deer  could  be  found  or  killed  there.  They  asked  very 
seriously  whether  their  brother  Onas  (William  Penn)  had  given  the  people 
leave  to  settle  there.  I  informed  them  of  the  contrary,  and  told  them 
that  I  believed  some  of  the  Indians  from  Ohio,  that  were  down  last  sum- 
mer, had  given  liberty  (with  what  right  I  could  not  tell)  to  settle.  I  told 
them  of  what  passed  on  the  Tuscarora  Path  last  summer,  when  the  sheriff 
and  three  magistrates  were  sent  to  turn  off  the  people  there  settled;  and 
that  1  then  perceived  that  the  people  were  favored  by  some  of  the  In- 
dians above  mentioned  ;  by  which  means  the  orders  of  the  governor  came 
to  no  effect.  So  far  they  were  content  and  said  the  thing  must  be  as  it 
is,  till  the  Six  Nation  chiefs  would  be  down  and  converse  with  the  Gov- 
ernor of   Pennsylvania  about  the  affair." 

The  Six  Nations  having  consulted  in  council  on  the  subject 
sent  a  delegation  to  Philadelphia  with  remonstrances,  but  the 
Senecas  had  already  been  there  and  had  been  dismissed  with  £100 
and  little  satisfaction.  The  Six  Nations  were  given  £50.  Return- 
ing disgusted  they  killed  the  cattle  and  ruined  the  orchards  along 
the  way. 

In  May,  1750,  a  conference  was  held  at  George  Croghan's,  in 
Pennsboro  Township,  Cumberland  County,  between  the  whites 
and  the  Indians,  to  give  the  Indians  the  assurance  that  those  who 
had  intruded  on  their  lands  on  the  Juniata  should  be  removed  with- 
out further  delay.  Present  at  the  meeting  were  Richard  Peters, 
secretary    of    the    province ;     Conrad    Weiser,    James    Galbreath, 


George  Croghan,  George  Stevenson,  William  Wilson,  Hermanns 
Alricks,  Andrew  Montour,  Jac-nec-doaris,  Sai-nch-to-wano,  Cata- 
ra-dir-ha,  Tohonady  Huntho,  a  Mohawk   from  Ohio. 

Some  of  these  men  went  away  peaceably,  upon  the  promise  that 
when  the  lands  were  purchased  from  the  Indians  they  might  re- 
turn to  their  claims,  but  others  were  morose  and  went  to  other 
sections.  Among  those  to  return  were  Richard  Kirkpatrick  and 
John  McClure. 

Secretary  Peters,  in  an  official  communication,  dated  July  2, 
1750,  recounting  the  previous  troubles  along  this  line,  takes  credit 
for  having  caused  the  intruders  to  be  driven  out  in  June,  1743. 
He  further  says  that  to  the  best  of  his  remembrance  there  were 
no  further  encroachments  until  about  1747,  when,  among  others, 
"some  persons  had  the  presumption  to  go  into  a  place  called 
Shearman's  Creek,  lying  along  the  waters  of  Juniata,  and  is  situ- 
ate east  of  the  Path  Valley,  through  which  the  present  road  runs 
from  Harris'  Ferry  (now  Harrisburg)  to  Allegheny;  and  lastly 
they  extending  their  settlements  to  big  Juniata;  the  Indians  all 
this  while  repeatedly  complaining  that  their  hunting  ground  was 
every  day  more  and  more  taken  from  them ;  and  that  there  must 
infallably  arise  quarrels  between  their  Warriors  and  these  settlers, 
which  would  in  the  end  break  the  chain  of  friendship." 

The  Indians  then  threatened  to  do  themselves  what  the  gov- 
ernment failed  to  do,  with  the  result  that  Richard  Peters,  secre- 
tary of  the  province,  with  Conrad  Weiser,  the  interpreter,  were 
despatched  to  the  territory  in  which  the  new  settlements  were 
located  to  expel  the  intruders.  They  were  joined  by  the  magis- 
trates of  the  county,  the  delegates  of  the  Six  Nations,  a  chief  of 
the  Mohawks,  and  Andrew  Montour,  an  interpreter.  The  party 
met  with  some  resistance,  but  Mr.  Peters,  the  secretary,  was  some- 
what of  a  diplomat  and  gave  money  to  the  needy  and  offered  a 
place  of  refuge  on  farms  of  his  own  elsewhere.  He  also  gave  all 
of  them  permission  to  locate  on  parts  of  the  two  million  acres 
east  of  the  Susquehanna,  purchased  of  the  Indians  the  previous 
year.  Some  accepted,  and  Andrew  Lycon  was  one  of  them,  the 
town  of  Lykens,  in  upper  Dauphin  Comity,  where  he  later  settled, 
being  named  after  him. 

In  the  letter  from  Richard  Peters,  the  provincial  secretary,  to 
lames  Hamilton,  the  Colonial  governor,  dated  July  2,  1750,  among 
other  matters  is  the  following  report  of  this  expedition : 

"Mr.  Weiser  and  I  have  received  your  honor's  orders  to  give  informa- 
tion to  the  proper  magistrates  against  all  such  as  had  presumed  to  settle 
and  remain  on  the  lands  beyond  the  Kittochtinny  Mountains,  not  purchased 
of  the  Indians,  in  contempt  of  the  laws  repeatedly  signified  by  proclama- 
tions, and  particularly  by  your  honor's  last  one,  and  to  bring  them  to  a 
legal  conviction,  lest  for  want  of  their  removal  a  breach  should  ensue  be- 
tween   the   Six    Nations   of   Indians   and  this   province.     We   set  out  on 


Tuesday,  the  15th  day  of  May,  1750,  for  the  new  county  of  Cumberland, 
where  the  places  on  which  the  trespassers  had  settled,  lay. 

"At  Mr.  Croghan's  we  met  with  five  Indians,  three  from  Shamokin,  two 
of  which  were  sons  of  the  late  Shikellamy,  who  transact  the  business  of 
the  Six  Nations  with  this  government;  two  were  just  arrived  from  Alle- 
gheny, viz:  one  of  the  Mohock's  (Mohawk)  nation,  called  Aaron,  and 
Andrew  Montour,  the  interpreter  at  Ohio.  Mr.  Montour  telling  us  he 
had  a  message  from  the  Ohio  Indians  and  Twightwees  to  this  govern- 
ment, and  desiring  a  conference,  one  was  held  on  the  18th  of  May  last, 
in  the  presence  of  James  Galbreth   (Galbraith),  George  Croghan,  William 


The   lower   part   bears  a  resemblance   to   President    Lincoln. 

These  rocks  were  blown  away  when  the  new  Pennsylvania 

Railroad    Line    was    built    around    the    Cove    Mountain    at 


Wilson,  and  Hermanns  Alricks,  Ksqs.,  justices  of  the  county  of  Cumber- 
land ;  and  when  Mr.  Montour's  business  was  done,  we,  with  the  advice 
of  the  other  justices,  imparted  to  the  Indians  the  design  we  were  assem- 
bled  upon,   at   which   they   expressed  great  satisfaction. 

"Another  conference  was  held  at  the  instance  of  the  Indians,  in  the 
presence  of  Mr.  Galbreth  and  Mr.  Croghan,  before  mentioned,  wherein 
they  expressed  themselves  as  follows: 

"  'Brethren,  we  have  thought  a  great  deal  of  what  you  imparted  to  us, 
that  ye  were  come  to  turn  the  people  off,  who  are  settled  over  the  hills; 


we  are  pleased  to  see  on  this  occasion,  and  as  the  council  of  Onondago 
has  this  affair  exceedingly  at  heart,  and  it  was  particularly  recommended 
to  us  by  the  deputies  of  the  Six  Nations,  when  they  parted  from  us  last 
summer,  we  desire  to  accompany  you,  but  we  are  afraid,  notwithstanding 
the  care  of  the  governor,  that  this  may  prove  like  many  former  attempts ; 
the  people  will  be  put  off  now,  and  next  year  come  again;  and  if  so  the 
Six  Nations  will  no  longer  bear  it,  but  do  themselves  justice.  To  pre- 
vent this,  therefore,  when  you  have  turned  the  people  off,  we  recommend 
it  to  the  governor,  to  place  two  or  three  faithful  persons  over  the  moun- 
tains, who  may  be  agreeable  to  him  and  us,  with  commissions,  empower- 
ing them  immediately  to  remove  every  one  who  may  presume  after  this 
to  settle  themselves,  until  the  Six  Nations  shall  agree  to  make  sale  of 
their  land.' 

"To  enforce  this  they  gave  a  string  of  wampum,  and  received  one  in 
return  from  the  magistrates,  with  the  strongest  assurances  that  they  would 
do  their  duty. 

"On  Tuesday,  the  226.  of  May,  Matthew  Dill,  George  Croghan,  Benja- 
min Chambers,  Thomas  Wilson,  John  Finley  and  James  Galbreth,  Esqs., 
justices  of  the  said  county  of  Cumberland,  attended  by  the  undersheriff, 
came  to  Big  Juniata,  situate  at  the  distance  of  twenty  miles  from  the 
mouth  thereof,  and  about  ten  miles  north  from  the  Blue  Hills,  a  place 
much  esteemed  by  the  Indians  for  some  of  their  best  hunting  ground,  and 
there  they  found  five  cabins,  or  log  houses,  one  possessed  by  William 
White,*  another  by  George  Cahoon,  another  not  quite  yet  finished  in  pos- 
session of  David  Hiddleston,  another  by  George  and  William^  Galloway, 
and  another  by  Andrew  Lycon ;  of  these  persons  William  White,  George 
and  William  Galloway,  David  Hiddleston  and  George  Cahoon  appeared 
before  the  magistrates,  and  being  asked  by  what  right  or  authority  they 
had  possessed  themselves  of  those  lands  and  erected  cabins  thereon,  re- 
plied: 'By  no  right  or  authority  but  that  the  land  belonged  to  the  pro- 
prietaries of  Pennsylvania.'  They  were  then  asked  whether  they  did  not 
know  they  were  acting  against  the  law  and  in  contempt  of  frequent  no- 
tices given  them  and  in  contempt  of  the  governor's  proclamation.  They 
said  they  had  seen  one  such  proclamation  and  had  nothing  to  say  for 
themselves,  but  craved  mercy.  Hereupon  the  said  five  men  being  con- 
victed by  said  justices  on  their  view,  the  undersheriff  was  charged  with 
them  and  he  took  William  White,  David  Hiddleston  and  George  Cahoon 

*This  is  the  place  where  Frederick  Starr,  a  German,  with  several  of 
his  countrymen,  are  spoken  of  in  provincial  annals  as  having  "made  set- 
tlements on  Big  Juniata,  about  twenty-five  miles  from  the  mouth  thereof 
(recorded  at  other  places  as  twenty  miles),  and  about  ten  miles  north 
from  the  Blue  Hills."  That  location  is  impossible,  as  twenty-five  miles 
(or  twenty  miles)  from  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata  would  be  in  Juniata 
County,  while  ten  miles  north  from  the  Blue  Hills  would  be  in  the  vicinity 
of  Wh'eatfield  or  Miller  Township,  in  Perry  County.  Wright's  History 
places  Starr's  settlement  "probably  near  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad  bridge 
over  Buffalo  Creek,"  above  Newport,  and  those  of  Lycon  and  others 
"probably  in  Pfoutz's  Valley,"  while  the  records  of  the  land  office  show 
them  to  have  been  in  Walker  Township,  Juniata  County.  In  the  letter  to 
Tames  Hamilton,  dated  July  2,  1750,  is  this  clause,  which  locates  the  place 
in  the  vicinity  of  Thompsontown :  "About  the  year  1740  or  1741,  one 
Frederick  Starr,  a  German,  with  two  or  three  more  of  his  countrymen, 
made  some  settlements  at  the  above  place,  where  we  found  William  White, 
the  Gallowavs,  and  Andrew  Lycon,  on  Big  Juniata,  situate  at  the  distance 
-of  twenty-five  miles  from  the  mouth  thereof,"  etc.  As  William  White  and 
Tohn  Lvcon  returned  to  their  places,  after  the  opening  of  the  land  office, 
February  3,  1754,  and  took  up  the  lands  legally,  the  location  is  determined. 


into  custody,  but  George  and  William  Galloway  resisted,  and  having  got 
at  some  distance  from  the  undersheriff,  they  called  to  us :  'You  may  take 
our  lands  and  houses  and  do  what  you  please  with  them  ;  we  deliver  them 
to  you  with  all  our  hearts,  but  we  will  not  be  carried  to  jail.' 

"The  next  morning  being  Wednesday,  the  23d  of  May,  the  said  justices 
went  to  the  log  house  or  cabin  of  Andrew  Lycon,  and  finding  none  there 
but  children,  and  hearing  that  the  father  and  mother  were  expected  soon, 
and  William  White  and  others  offering  to  become  security,  jointly  and 
severally,  and  to  enter  into  recognizance  as  well  for  Andrew's  appearance 
at  court,  and  immediate  removal  as  for  their  own,  this  proposal  was  ac- 
cepted and  William  White,  David  Hiddleston  and  George  Cahoon  en- 
tered into  a  recognizance  of  100  pounds,  and  executed  bonds  to  the  pro- 
prietaries in  the  sum  of  500  pounds,  reciting  that  they  were  trespassers 
and  had  no  manner  of  right  and  had  delivered  possession  to  me  for  the 
proprietaries.  When  the  magistrate  went  to  the  cabin  of  George  and 
William  Galloway  (which  they  had  delivered  up  the  day  before,  as  afore- 
said, after  being  convicted  and  were  flying  from  the  sheriff)  all  the  goods 
belonging  to  the  said  George  and  William  were  taken  out,  and  the  cabin 
being  quite  empty,  I  took  possession  thereof  for  the  proprietaries ;  then  a 
conference  was  held  what  should  be  done  with  the  empty  cabin;  after 
great  deliberation,  all  agreed  that  if  some  cabins  were  not  destroyed  they 
would  tempt  the  trespassers  to  return  again,  or  encourage  others  to  come 
there  should  these  go  away.  So  what  was  doing  would  signify  nothing, 
since  the  possession  of  them  was  at  such  a  distance  from  the  inhabitants 
and  could  not  be  kept  for  the  proprietaries,  and  Mr.  Weiser  also  giving 
it  as  his  opinion  that  if  all  the  cabins  were  left  standing  the  Indians 
would  conceive  such  a  contemptible  opinion  of  the  government  that  they 
would  come  themselves  in  the  winter,  murder  the  people  and  set  their 
houses  on  fire.  On  these  considerations  the  cabin  by  my  order,  was  burnt 
by  the  undersheriff  and  company. 

"Then  the  company  went  to  the  house  possessed  by  David  Hiddleston, 
who  had  entered  into  bond  as  aforesaid,  and  he  having  voluntarily  taken 
out  all  the  things  which  were  in  the  cabin,  and  left  me  in  possession,  that 
empty  and  unfurnished  cabin  was  likewise  set  on  fire,  by  the  undersheriff, 
by  my  order. 

"The  next  day,  being  the  24th  of  May,  Mr.  Weiser  and  Mr.  Galbreth, 
with  the  undersheriff  and  myself,  on  our  way  to  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata, 
called  at  Andrew  Lycon's,  with  intent  only  to  inform  him  that  his  neigh- 
bors were  bound  for  his  appearance  and  immediate  removal,  and  to  cau- 
tion him  not  to  bring  himself  or  them  into  trouble  by  a  refusal.  But  he 
presented  a  loaded  gun  to  the  magistrates  and  sheriff  and  said  he  would 
shoot  the  first  man  that  dared  to  come  nigher.  On  this  he  was  disarmed, 
convicted  and  committed  to  the  custody  of  the  sheriff.  This  whole  trans- 
action happened  in  the  sight  of  the  tribe  of  Indians,  who  by  accident  had 
in  the  nighttime  fixed  their  tent  on  that  plantation  ;  and  Lyken's  behavior 
giving  them  great  offence  the  Shikellamies  insisted  on  our  burning  the 
cabin  or  they  would  burn  it  themselves.  Whereupon,  when  everything  was 
taken  out  of  it,  Andrew  Lycon  all  the  while  assisting,  and  possession 
being  delivered  to  me,  the  empty  cabin  was  set  on  fire  by  the  undersheriff 
and  Lycon  was  carried  to  jail. 

"Mr.  Benjamin  Chambers  and  Mr.  George  Croghan  had  about  an  hour 
before  separated  from  us;  and  on  my  meeting  them  again  in  Cumberland 
County,  they  reported  to  me  they  had  been  at  Sheerman's  Creek,  or  Little 
Juniata,  situate  about  six  miles  over  the  Blue  Mountain,  and  found  there 
James  Parker,  Thomas  Parker,  Owen  M'Keib,  John  M'Clure,  Richard 
Kirkpatrick,  James  Murray,  John  Scott,  Henry  Gass,  John  Cowan,  Simon 


Girtee  and  John  Kilough,  who  had  settled  lands  and  erected  cabins 
thereon;  and  having  convicted  them  of  the  trespass  on  their  view,  they 
had  bound  them  in  recognizances  of  one  hundred  pounds  to  appear  and 
answer  for  their  trespasses  on  the  first  day  of  the  next  Cumberland 
County  Court,  to  be  held  at  Shippensburg,  and  that  the  said  trespassers 
had  likewise  entered  into  bonds  to  the  proprietaries  in  500  pounds  pen- 
alty, to  remove  off  immediately  with  all  their  servants,  cattle  and  effects 
and  had  delivered  possession  of  their  houses  to  Mr.  George  Stevenson 
for  the  proprietaries'  use;  and  that  Mr.  Stevenson  had  ordered  some  of 
the  meanest  of  those  cabins  to  be  set  on  fire,  where  the  families  were  not 
large  or  the  improvements  considerable." 

But  even  this  did  not  deter  aggression  and  at  a  council  held  at 
Carlisle  in  1753  the  Indians  again  protested  the  occupation  of  their 
hunting  grounds  and  notified  the  authorities  that  "they  wished  the 
people  called  back  from  the  Juniata  lands  until  matters  were  set- 
tled between  them  and  the  French,  lest  damage  should  be  done, 
and  then  the  English  would  think  ill  of  them."  That  they  had  a 
right  to  protest  is  substantiated  by  the  fact  that  Alexander  Roddy, 
Thomas  Wilson,  William  Patterson,  James  Kennedy,  John  and 
Joseph  Scott,  and  probably  others,  had  located  in  1753,  in  what 
later  became  Tyrone  Township,  then  generally  known  as  Sher- 
man's Valley. 

As  early  as  1751  the  number  of  taxables  in  Cumberland  County 
north  of  the  Kittatinny  Mountain  was  1,134.  Rupp's  History 
says :  "These  were  chiefly  Irish  and  some  few  Germans,  who 
seated  themselves  on  Juniata  River,  Sherman's  Creek,  Tuscarora 
Path,  etc."  The  first  settlements  of  these  intruders  on  the  un- 
purchased lands  began  about  the  year  1740,  and  increased  despite 
the  complaints  of  the  Indians,  the  laws  of  the  province  and  the 
proclamations  of  the  governor. 

While  the  treaty  of  1736  gave  to  the  Penns  all  the  lands  lying 
east  and  south  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountains,  yet  settle- 
ments had  been  made  west  of  the  Susquehanna  River  prior  to 
that  time,  special  grants  having  been  issued  for  settlements.  When 
the  Penns  came  the  first  purchase  by  them  from  the  Indians  in- 
cluded a  small  domain  around  Philadelphia.  This  was  at  the  fa- 
mous council  meeting  of  1682.  On  September  17,  1718,  another 
treaty  confirmed  that  sale  and  extended  the  lands  as  far  west  as 
the  Susquehanna  River.  The  treaty  of  1836  again  confirmed  the 
previous  ones,  when  on  October  11,  twenty-three  Six  Nation 
chiefs  sold  to  John,  Thomas  and  Richard  Perm  all  the  lands  on 
both  sides  of  the  Susquehanna,  "eastward,  to  the  heads  of  the 
branches  or  springs  flowing  into  the  river ;  northward  to  the 
Kittochtinny  Hills,  and  westward  to  the  setting  sun."  "Westward 
to  the  setting  sun"  merely  meant  that  south  and  east  of  the  Kitta- 
tinny Mountains  all  the  lands,  including  those  that  drained  into  the 
Potomac,   were  conveyed — nothing  more — and  yet   many  of   the 


white  settlers  construed  that  "westward  to  the  setting  sun"  to  mean 

The:  Albany  Treaty. 

Perry  County  is  a  part  of  the  lands  transferred  by  the  Treaty 
of  Albany,  on  July  6,  1754.  The  deed  bears  the  names  or  marks 
of  all  the  Chiefs  and  Sachems  of  the  Six  Nations  and  John  and 
Richard  Penn  and  their  agents.  It  conveys  to  the  latter  "all  the 
lands  lying  within  the  said  province  of  Pennsylvania,  bounded  and 
limited  as  follows :  Beginning  at  the  Kittochtinny,  or  Blue  Hills, 
on  the  Susquehanna  River,  thence  along  the  said  river  a  mile 
above  the  mouth  of  a  certain  creek  called  Kayarondinhagh ;  thence 
'northwest  by  west  as  far  as  the  said  province  extends,  to  its  west- 
ern lines  and  boundaries ;  thence  along  the  said  western  line  or 
boundary  to  the  south  line  or  boundary ;  thence  along  said  south 
line  or  boundary  to  the  south  side  of  said  Kittochtinny  Hills ; 
thence  by  south  side  of  said  hills  to  the  place  of  beginning."  The 
price  was  "400  pounds,  lawful  money  of  New  York." 

Should  these  boundaries  have  stood  practically  the  greater  part 
of  western  Pennsylvania  to  the  Ohio  line  would  have  been  in- 
cluded, but  disaffection  appearing  among  the  Indians  a  conference 
was  held  at  Aughwick  (near  Mount  Union)  in  September,  1754, 
at  which  the  representatives  of  the  various  tribes  declared  that  it 
was  not  their  intention  to  sell  the  lands  drained  by  the  west  branch 
of  the  Susquehanna  and  that  they  would  never  agree  to  any 
boundary  that  extended  to  Lake  Erie.  The  "certain  creek"  named 
Kayarondinhagh,  is  Penn's  Creek,  which  flows  into  the  Susque- 
hanna at  Selinsgrove  and  a  line  northwest  by  west  would  strike 
Lake  Erie  about  where  the  city  of  Erie  is  now  located.  The  result 
of  this  conference  was  that  another  treaty  was  concluded  at  Eas- 
ton,  Pennsylvania,  October  22,  1754,  when  the  boundary  lines  to 
the  north  and  west  were  changed.  The  line  starting  above  Penn's 
Creek  was  made  to  run  "northwest  and  by  west  to  a  creek  called 
Buffalo  Creek  ;  thence  west  to  the  east  side  of  the  Allegheny  or 
Appalachian  Hills ;  thence  along  the  east  side  of  the  said  hills, 
binding  therewith  to  the  south  line  or  boundary  of  the  said  prov- 
ince ;  thence  by  the  said  south  line  or  boundary  to  the  south  side 
of  the  Kittochtinny  Hills;  thence  by  the  south  side  of  said  hills 
to  the  place  of  beginning." 

The  territory,  as  thus  defined  by  the  revised  boundaries,  included 
all  of  the  present  counties  of  Perry,  Juniata,  Mifflin,  Huntingdon, 
Bedford,  Blair  and  Fulton,  almost  all  of  Snyder,  about  one-half 
of  Centre  and  portions  of  Union.  Franklin,  and  Somerset.  The 
Perry  County  territory  is  the  extreme  southern  part  of  this  pur- 


During  the  preceding  years  pioneers  had  become  familiar  with 
the  lands  of  the  new  grant  and  when  the  land  office  opened  on 
February  3,  1755,  on  the  very  first  day,  a  number  of  warrants 
were  granted  to  those  who  had  located  their  claims.  While  it  has 
been  impossible  to  give  a  full  list  of  the  warrantees  during  the 
early  settlement  of  the  county,  yet  a  large  number  are  covered  in 
the  early  history  of  the  various  townships  in  .-mother  pari  of  this 

As  will  be  seen  in  the  following  chapters  many  of  these  pio- 
neers abandoned  their  homes  and  fled  to  more  thickly  populated 
sections  during  the  French  and  Indian  War,  many  more  were 
killed  and  scalped  and  still  others  were  taken  prisoner  by  the 
wily  redskins. 

The  Six  Nations  were  not  the  occupants  of  the  territory,  al- 
though in  authority.  Many  of  the  Delawares  and  the  Shawnees, 
who  were  inhabiting  it  did  not  take  the  treaty  literally,  claiming 
a  sort  of  ownership  by  right  of  occupation.  This,  in  connection 
with  the  settlers  having  come  in  before  the  purchase  and  the  trou- 
bles between  the  English  and  the  French  and  Indians,  soon  made 
the  land  a  veritable  "dark  and  bloody  ground." 

That  Andrew  Montour,  the  first  authorized  citizen  of  the  lands 
which  now  comprise  Perry  County,  was  sent  for  by  Col.  George 
Washington  in  1754,  the  very  year  of  the  purchase  of  these  lands, 
is  attested  by  Montour's  autograph  letter,  on  file  in  the  office  of 
the  Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth,  at  Harrisburg,  addressed  to 
Governor  R.  H.  Morris.     It  follows : 

Sherman's  Creek,  16th  May,  1754. 
Sir:  I  once  more  take  upon  me  the  liberty  of  informing  you  that  our 
Indians  at  Ohio  are  expecting  every  day  the  armed  forces  of  this  province 
against  the  French,  who,  by  their  late  encroachments,  is  likely  to  prevent 
their  planting,  and  thereby  render  them  impossible  of  supporting  their 
families.  And  you  may  depend  upon  it,  as  a  certainty,  that  our  Indians 
will  not  strike  the  French  unless  this  province  (or  New  York)  engage  with 
them;  and  that,  by.  sending  some  number  of  men  to  their  immediate  as- 
sistance. The  reasons  are  plain,  to  wit :  that  they  don't  look  upon  their 
late  friendship  with  Virginia,  sufficient  to  engage  them  in  a  war  with  the 
French;  I  therefore  think,  with  submission,  that  to  preserve  our  Indian 
allies,  this  province  ought  instantly  to  send  out  some  men,  either  less  or 
more,  which  I  have  good  reason  to  hope,  would  have  the  desired  effect ; 
otherwise  I  doubt  there  will,  in  a  little  time,  be  an  entire  separation ;  the 
consequences  of  which,  you  are  best  able  to  judge,  &c.  I  am  informed, 
by  my  brother,  who  has  lately  come  from  the  Lakes,  that  there  is  at  that 
place  a  great  number  of  French  Indians,  preparing  to  come  down  to  the 
assistance  of  the  French,  at  Ohio.  I  am  likewise  informed,  by  a  young 
Indian  man  (who,  by  my  brother's  directions,  spent  some  days  with  the 
French  at  Monongahela),  that  they  expect  a  great  number  of  French 
down  the  river,  very  soon.  I  have  delayed  my  journey  to  Ohio,  and  waited 
with  great  impatience  for  advice  from  Philadelphia,  but  have  not  yet 
received  any.  I  am  now  obliged  to  go  to  Col.  Washington,  who  has 
sent  for  me  many  days  ago,  to  go  with  him  to  meet  the  half-king,  Mona- 


catootha,  and  others,  that  are  coming  to  meet  the  Virginia  companies; 
and,  as  they  think,  some  from  Pennsylvania — and  would  have  been  glad 
to  have  known  the  design  of  this  province,  in  these  matters,  before  I 
had  gone.  I  am  sir,  your  humble  servant, 

Andrew  Montour. 

The  French  and  Indian  War. 

Prior  to  1753-54  for  a  period  of  probably  seventy  years  tbe 
white  settlers  of  the  province  and  the  Indians  had  gotten  along 
peacefully  in  a  general  way,  but  about  this  time  things  changed. 
The  Indians  joined  with  the  French  against  the  English  and 
bloody  massacres  followed.  Already  Virginia  was  being  deso- 
lated and  consternation  seized  the  pioneers  on  every  hand.  The 
inhabitants  of  the  new  county  of  Cumberland,  including  what  is 
now  Perry  County,  petitioned  Colonial  Governor  Hamilton  for 
aid.     The  petition : 

The  address  of  the  subscribers  of  the  county  of  Cumberland,  sheweth 
that  we  are  now  in  most  imminent  danger  by  a  powerful  army  of  cruel, 
merciless  and  inhumane  enemies,  by  which  our  lives,  liberties,  estates,  and 
all  that  tends  to  promote  our  welfare,  are  in  utmost  danger  of  dreadful 
destruction,  and  this  lamentable  truth  is  most  evident  from  the  late  defeat 
of  the  Virginia  forces,  and  now  as  we  are  under  your  honor's  protection, 
we  would  beg  your  immediate  notice,  we  living  upon  the  frontiers  of  the 
province  and  our  enemies  so  close  upon  us,  nothing  doubting  but  these 
considerations  will  affect  your  honor,  and  as  you  have  our  welfare  at 
heart,  that  you  will  defer  nothing  that  may  tend  to  hasten  our  relief. 
And  we  have  hereby  appointed  our  most  trusty  friends,  James  Burd  and 
Philip  Davies,  our  commissioners,  to  deliver  this  our  petition  to  your 
honor,  and  in  hopes  of  your  due  attention  and  regard  thereto,  we  are 
your  honor's  devoted  servants,  and  as  in  duty  bound  shall  ever  pray : 

Cumberland,  15th  July  1754. 
To  which  was  attached  the  following  signatures:  Benjamin  Chambers, 
Robert  Chambers,  James  Carnahan,  James  McTeer,  Charles  Morrow,  John 
Mitchell,  Joseph  Armstrong,  John  Miller,  Alexander  Culbertson,  James 
Holiday,  Nathaniel  Wilson,  Wm.  McCord,  James  Jack,  John  Smith,  Fran- 
cis West,  James  Sharp,  John  Ervin,  Matthew  Arthur,  James  McCormick, 
Charles  Magill,  George  Finly,  John  Dotter,  John  Cesna,  Joseph  Culbert- 
son, Samuel  Culbertson,  John  Thompson,  John  Reynolds,  George  Hamil- 
ton, David  Magaw,  James  Chambers,  Hermanus  Alricks,  Robert  Meek, 
Archibald  Machan,  Benjamin  Blyth,  Joseph  McKinney,  John  Thompson, 
Francis  Campbell,  John  Finly,  Isaac  Miller,  John  Machan,  John  Miller, 
John  Blair,  James  Blair,  James  Moore,  John  Finly,  William  White,  Wil- 
liam Buchanan,  John  Montgomery,  Andrew  McFarlane,  James  Brandon, 
John  Pattison,  John  Craighead,  Wm.  McClure,  Samuel  Stevens,  William 
Brown,  Pat  McFarlan,  Stephen  Foulk,  John  Armstrong,  Stephen  Foulk, 
Jr.,  William  McCoskry,  Charles  Pattison,  William  Miller,  John  Prentice, 
Arthur  Forster,  William  Blyth,  Gideon  Griffith,  Thomas  Henderson,  An- 
drew Mclntyre,  John  McCuer,  Reuben  Guthrie,  George  Davidson,  Robert 
Miller,  Thomas  Willson,  Thomas  Lockert,  Tobias  Hendricks.  It  was 
read  in  Council,  August  6,  1754. 

The  governor,  after  giving  proper  consideration  to  the  urgent 
demands  of  these  settlers,  in  the  same  month — August,  1754 — sent 
a  message  to  the  Assembly,  then  in  session,  urging  that  immediate 


attention  be  given  to  the  matter  and  assistance  be  sent  to  them. 
From  "Votes  of  Assembly,"  4-319,  August,  1754.  the  document 
is  here  reproduced : 

"The  people  of  Cumberland  and  the  upper  parts  of  Lancaster  County, 
are  so  apprehensive  of  danger,  at  this  critical  juncture,  from  the  nearness 
of  French  and  savages  under  their  influence,  that  the  principal  inhabitants 
have,  in  the  most  earnest  manner,  petitioned  me  to  provide  for  their  pro- 
tection ;  representing  withal,  that  a  great  number  would  be  warm  and 
active  in  defence  of  themselves  and  their  country,  were  they  enabled  so 
to  be,  by  being  supplied  with  arms  and  ammunition,  which  many  of  them 
are  unable  to  purchase  at  their  own  private  expense.  The  substance  of 
these  several  petitions,  which  I  shall  likewise  order  to  be  laid  before  you, 
appears  to  me,  gentlemen,  to  be  of  the  greatest  importance,  and  well 
worthy  of  your  most  serious  attention.  You  may  be  assured  that  nothing 
which  depends  on  me  shall  be  wanting  towards  affording  them  the  pro- 
tection they  desire;  but  you  cannot  at  the  same  time  but  be  sensible  how 
little  it  is  in  my  power  to  answer  the  expectations  without  the  aid  of  your 
house.  It  becomes  then  my  indispensable  duty,  and  I  cannot  on  any  ac- 
count whatever,  excuse  myself  from  pressing  you  to  turn  your  thoughts 
on  the  defenceless  state  of  the  province  in  general,  as  well  as  of  our  back 
inhabitants  in  particular;  and  to  provide  such  means  for  the  security  of 
the  whole,  as  shall  be  thought  at  once  both  reasonable  and  effectual  to  the 
ends  proposed;  in  which,  as  in  every  other  matter,  consistent  with  my 
honor,  and  the  trust  reposed  in  me,  I  promise  you  my  hearty  concur- 

Legislative  bodies  in  those  days  seem  to  have  been  the  pro- 
genitors of  the  present-day  product;  and  while  the  citizens  ap- 
pealed continually,  and  the  Indians  wielded  the  tomahawk  assidu- 
ously, the  members  of  the  Provincial  Assembly  talked  continu- 
ously. According  to  old  records  all  they  did  was  "talk,  and  talk, 
and  talk." 

In  1755,  actual  hostilities  had  begun,  between  the  English  and 
the  French,  in  the  struggle  for  the  control  of  America  and  the 
settlement  of  the  question  as  to  whether  it  would  be  for  all  time 
an  English-speaking  or  a  French-speaking  nation.  The  frontier 
settlers  were  panic-stricken,  which  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  for 
were  they  not  at  the  the  verge  of  civilization  ? 

The  reader  will  remember  that  February  3,  i/55 — tliat  ver>' 
vear — is  the  date  upon  which  the  land  office  opened  at  Lancaster 
"for  the  settlement  of  the  lands  which  now  form  the  county  oi 

The  Indian  nations  were  divided.  Sir  William  Johnston  had 
induced  the  Mohawks,  the  Tuscaroras  and  the  Oneidas  to  take 
sides  with  the  British,  and  the  Onondagas,  Cayugas  and  Senecas, 
to  remain  neutral — a  difficult  job.  Many  of  the  Canadian  Iro- 
quois, however,  went  over  to  the  French.  Of  the  Susquehannas, 
Delawares  and  Shawnees,  a  part,  influenced  by  Logan,  John 
Thachnechtoris,  Scarrooyady,  Paxnons,  The  Belt,  Zigarea  and 
Andrew  Montour,  remained  true  to  the  Colonies,  offering  to  estab- 


lish  a  post  at  Shamokin  against  the  French;    but   part  of  them 
took  up  the  hatchet. 

In  the  latter  part  of  1754  the  disposition  of  the  French  toward 
the  frontiers  was  very  threatening,  and  it  was  proposed  to  remove 
the  Indians  from  Aughwick,  in  what  is  now  Huntingdon  County, 
to  the  month  of  the  Juniata.  The  opinion  of  George  Croghan,  the 
Indian  agent  then  located  at  Aughwick,  was  sought,  and  his  reply 
is  reproduced  here  as  showing  that  the  settlers  at  the  mouth  of 
the   Juniata  River  were  principally  traders.     It  follows: 

"As  to  moving  the  Indians  to  the  month  of  the  Juniata,  I  think 
it  a  very  improper  place,  for  this  reason :  it  is  settled  with  a  set 
of  white  men  that  make  their  living  by  trading  with  the  Indians 
that  is  settled  on  the  river  Susquehanna  and  sells  them  little  else  but 
spirits,  so  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  keep  these  Indians  from 
spending  all  their  clothing  and  then  they  would  be  forever  teasing 
your  honor  for  goods.  Indeed  it  is  my  opinion  that  were  they 
to  live  in  any  part  of  the  inhabitance,  it  would  be  attended  with 
bad  consequences,  as  there  is  no  keeping  them  from  being  in- 
flamed with  liquor  if  they  can  get  at  it,  cost  what  it  will ;  besides 
it  is  dangerous  for  fear  of  their  getting  sickness ;  then  they  would 
say  the  white  people  killed  them,  and  while  they  stay  here  they  are 
a  defense  to  the  back  inhabitants,  which  I  think  lays  very  open 
to  the  enemy,  and  I  think  if  the  government  intends  to  build  any 
fortifications  for  the  security  of  the  back  inhabitants  that  this 
place  or  some  place  hereabouts  is  the  properest  place." 

As  this  was  the  year  of  the  Albany  purchase  of  these  lands,  and 
as  the  land  office  was  not  yet  opened  for  settlement,  the  location 
of  these  traders  was  evidently  on  Duncan's  Island,  then  known  as 
Juniata  Island,  which  was  included  in  an  earlier  purchase  by  Penn. 

Late  in  October,  1755,  the  Indians  appeared  in  the  neighborhood 
of  Shamokin,  and  early  in  November  committed  several  murders 
of  whites  under  peculiarly  cruel  and  barbarous  circumstances. 
Not  only  those  on  the  immediate  frontier,  but  also  those  farther 
to  the  heart  of  the  settled  part  of  the  province  were  in  constant 
dread  of  the  savages.  A  proclamation  signed  by  nine  prominent 
citizens  advised  all  to  repair  to  the  frontiers  and  be  prepared  for 
the  "worst  event."  The  George  Gabriel's  mentioned  in  their  proc- 
lamation was  located  "below  the  forks  of  the  Susquehanna,  about 
thirty  miles  of  Harris'  Ferry,  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,"  ac- 
cording to  Rupp.     The  proclamation: 

Paxton,  Oct.  31,  1755-     From  John  Harris'  at  12  p.m. 

To  all  his  majesty's  subjects  in  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  or  else- 
where: Whereas,  Andrew  Montour,  Belt  of  Wampum,  two  Mohawks, 
and  other  Indians  came  down  this  day  from  Shamokin  (where  Sunbury 
is  now  located),  who  say  the  whole  body  of  Indians  or  the  greatest  part 
of  them  in  the  French  interest,  is  actually  encamped  on  this  side  George 
Gabriel's,  near  Susquehanna;    and  that  we  may  expect  an  attack  in  three 


days  at  farthest;  and  a  French  fort  to  be  begun  at  Sbamokin  in  ten  days 
hence.  Tho'  this  be  the  Indian  report;  we  the  subscribers,  do  give  it 
as  our  advice  to  repair  immediately  to  the  frontiers  with  all  our  forces 
to  intercept  their  passage  into  our  country,  and  be  prepared  in  the  best 
manner  possible  for  the  worst  event. 

Witness  our  hands. 

James  Galbreath,  John  Allison,  Barney  Hughes,  Robert  Wallace,  John 
Harris,  James   Pollock,  James  Anderson,  William  Work,  Patrick  Henry. 

P.  s'.  They  positively  affirm  that  the  above  named  Indians  discovered 
a  party  of  the  enemy  at  Thomas  McKee's  upper  place  on  the  30th  of 
October  last. 

Mona-ca-too-tha,  the  Belt,  and  other  Indians  here,  insist  upon  Mr. 
Weiser's  coming  immediately  to  John  Harris'  with  his  men,  and  to  council 
with  the  Indians. 

Before  me,  James  Galbreath. 

That  the  matter  of  calling  forth  the  above  proclamation  was 
urgent  is  attested  by  the  fact  that  the  latter  part  of  the  date  line 
shows  it  to  have  been  despatched  at  an  unusual  hour,  "From  John 
Harris'  at  12  p.  m.,"  is  the  inscription,  and  it  was  likely  sent  by 
courier,  or  as  the  provincial  authorities  termed  it,  "by  express." 

The  above  is  from  the  provincial  records  and  also  establishes 
the  fact  that  Thomas  McKee  had  two  places,  a  fact  which  has 
confused  many  writers.  McKee  was  an  Indian  trader  and  is  men- 
tioned in  many  records,  one  being  in  an  earlier  chapter  of  this 
book,  where  he  was  one  of  a  party  to  help  hunt  for  the  murderers 
of  John  Armstrong.  That  he  was  one  of  these  men  would  imply 
that  he  probably  made  his  headquarters  at  the  lower  place,  which 
was  at  Peters'  Mountain,  opposite  Duncannon ;  in  fact  his  name 
frequently  appears  in  matters  pertaining  to  the  lower  location. 
The  upper  location  was  where  McKee's  Half  Falls  is,  that  place 
taking  its  name  from  him.  The  "places"  were  likely  trading  posts 
for  the  exchange  of  goods  and  possibly  also  stopping  places  for 
travelers,  but  the  latter  is  hardly  likely,  as  the  country  was  too 
little  settled  to  require  such  accommodation.  People  yet  living 
remember  when  Harry  McKee,  a  descendant,  owned  the  farm  at 
the  end  of  Peters'  Mountain.  He  later  kept  a  hotel  at  the  east 
end  of  Clark's  Ferry  bridge. 

McKee's  store,  mentioned  in  many  provincial  documents,  was 
near  Peters'  Mountain,  and  further  proof  of  the  fact  is  contained 
in  Rupp's  History,  page  314,  where  it  is  stated  that  William  Clap- 
ham,  commandant  at  Fort  Halifax,  wrote  Governor  Morris,  July 
1,  1756,  saying  he  would  leave  a  sergeant  and  twelve  men  at 
Harris',  twenty-four  at  Hunter's  Fort,  twenty-four  at  McKee's 
store,  each  in  command  of  an  ensign,  and  Captain  Miles  and 
thirty-seven  men  at  Fort  Halifax,  naming  the  points  in  order 
coming  up  the  river. 

CamerhorT,  the  Moravian  bishop,  on  January  13,  1748,  after 
•being  at  one  of   McKee's  places,   described  him  thus:    "McKee 


holds  a  captain's  commission  under  the  government;  is  an  exten- 
sive Indian  trader;  bears  a  good  name  among  them,  and  drives  a 
brisk  trade  with  the  Allegheny  country."  McKee's  wife  was 
either  a  white  woman  who  had  been  reared  among  the  Indians  or 
was  herself  an  Indian,  probably  the  former.  There  is  record  that 
she  conld  speak  little  English.  Various  stories  appear  in  historical 
works  as  to  her  origin.  Certain  it  is  that,  if  she  were  even  reared 
among  the  Indians  to  her  must  be  credited  the  half -savage  nature 
of  Alexander  McKee — son  of  Captain  Thomas — who  was  the  fel- 
low renegade  of  Simon  Girty.  His  rearing  among  the  Indians, 
where  his  father  traded,  probably  also  contributed  to  it.  He  was 
George  Croghan's  assitant  at  Pittsburgh  as  Deupty  Indian  Agent 
to  the  British.  When  a  lad  at  the  store  below  Peters'  Mountain 
he  probably  became  acquainted  with  young  Simon  Girty,  who  lived 
a  tew  miles  below.  The  reader  is  referred  to  the  chapter  on  Simon 
Girty  for  further  description  of  the  younger  McKee. 

In  a  letter*  addressed  to  "Mr.  Peters,  Secretary  of  the  Prov- 
ince, dated  Conococheague,  Nov.  2,  1755,  John  Potter,  sheriff  of 
Cumberland  County,  after  telling  of  the  great  Indian  massacres  in 
Great  Cove  (now  Bedford  County),  says:  'I  am  much  afraid 
that  Juniata,  Tuscarora  and  Sheerman's  Valley  hath  suffered ; 
there  are  two-thirds  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  valley  who  have 
already  fled,  leaving  their  plantations  ;  and  without  speedy  suc- 
cour be  granted  I  am  of  the  opinion  this  county  will  be  laid  deso- 
late and  be  without  inhabitants.  Last  night  I  had  a  family  of  up- 
wards of  an  hundred  women  and  children,  who  fled  for  succour. 
You  can  form  no  just  idea  of  the  distress  and  distracted  condition 
of  our  inhabitants,  unless  you  saw  and  heard  their  cries.'  " 

In  a  letter  also  dated  November  2,  1755,  to  Governor  Morris, 
signed  by  John  Armstrong, f  is  this:  "We  have  sent  our  ex- 
presses everywhere  and  intend  to  collect  the  forces  of  this  lower 
part ;  expecting  the  enemy  at  Sheerman's  Valley,  if  not  nearer  at 
hand.  I  am  of  the  opinion  that  no  other  means  than  a  chain  of 
block  houses  along  or  near  the  south  side  of  the  Kittatinny  Moun- 
tain, from  Susquehanna  to  the  temporary  line,  can  secure  the  lives 
and  properties  even  of  the  old  inhabitants  of  this  county,  the  new 
settlements  being  all  fled,  except  those  of  Sheerman's  Valley  whom, 
it  God  do  not  preserve,  we  fear,  will  suffer  very  soon.  I  am  your 
honor's  disconsolate,  humble  servant,"  etc. 

The  only  man,  as  far  as  official  records  show,  who  inhabited  the 
territory  which  is  now  Perry  County,  to  fight  in  the  French  and 
Indain  Wrar  with  the  army  was  Andrew  Montour,  the  Indian 
agent   and  trader,  who  resided  on   Sherman's  Creek,  near  where 

*Rupp's  History. 
fProvincial  Records. 



Montour's  run  empties  into  it.  In  one  of  his  official  communi- 
cations to  Governor  Morris,  Braddock  says  he  has  forty  or  fifty 
Indians  with  him  and  has  taken  into  the  service  Andrew  Montour 
and  George  Croghan.  Coming  from  such  a  source  it  is  evidently 
not  only  official  hut  authentic.  Another  man,  Alexander  Stephens, 
who  later  resided  in  Perry  County  territory,  and  became  a  captain 
in  the  Revolution,  was  a  soldier  in  this  war  and  was  present  at 
Braddock's  defeat.  He  was  a  private  in  Capt.  Joseph  Shippen's 
company  of  Col.  William  Clapham's  regiment. 

Most  of  the  Indians  deserted  the  Braddock  expedition,  and  with 
some  reason.  Braddock  advanced  with  great  pomp  and  his 
method  of  fighting  was  had,  in  so  far  as  Indian  warfare  was  con- 
cerned. Scarroyady,  a  chief,  in  an  address  to  the  Provincial 
Council,  said : 

"It  is  now  well  known  to  you  how  unhappily  we  have  been 
defeated  by  the  French  near  Minongelo  (Monongahela).  We 
must  let  you  know  that  it  was  the  pride  and  ignorance  of  that 
great  general  that  came  from  England.  He  is  now  dead ;  but 
he  was  a  bad  man  when  he  was  alive ;  he  looked  upon  us  as  dogs, 
and  would  never  hear  anything  that  was  said  to  him.  We  often 
endeavored  to  advise  him  and  to  tell  him  the  danger  he  was  in 
with  his  soldiers ;  but  he  never  appeared  pleased  with  us,  and 
that  was  the  reason  that  a  great  many  of  our  warriors  would  not 
be  under  his  command." 

The  following  letter  shows  that  Montour  was  mistrusted,  and 
also  illustrates  the  distressed  condition  of  the  territory  at  that 
period : 

"Carlisle,  Sunday  Night,  November  2,  1755. 

"Dear  Sir:  Inclosed  to  Mr.  Allen,  by  the  last  post,  I  sent  you  a  letter 
from  Harris',  but  I  believe  forgot,  through  that  day's  confusion,  to  di- 
rect it. 

"You  will  see  our  melancboly  circumstances  by  the  governor's  letter 
and  my  opinion  of  the  method  of  keeping  the  inhabitants  in  this  county, 
which  will  require  all  possible  despatch.  If  we  had  immediate  assurance 
of  relief  a  great  number  would  stay ;  and  the  inhabitants  should  be 
advertised  not  to  drive  off,  nor  waste  their  beef  cattle,  &c.  I  have  not 
so  much  as  sent  off  my  wife,  fearing  an  ill  precedent,  but  must  do  it  now, 
I  believe,  together  with  the  public  papers  and  your  own. 

"There  are  no  inhabiants  on  Juniata,  nor  on  Tuscarora  by  this  time, 
my  brother  William  being  just  come  in.  Montour  and  Monaghatootha 
are  going  to  the  governor.  The  former  is  greatly  suspected  of  being  an 
enemy  in  his  heart — 'tis  hard  to  tell — you  can  compare  what  they  say  to 
the  governor  to  what  I  have  wrote.  I  have  no  notion  of  a  large  army, 
but  of  great  danger  from  scouting  parties.  John  Armstrong." 

Indian  Massacres  on  County  Soil. 

With  the  defeat  of  General  Braddock  in  western  Pennsylvania 
by  the  French  and  Indians  on  July  9,   1755,  the  Indians  took  the 


warpath  and  laid  waste  all  outlying'  settlements.  The  land  office 
tor  the  settlement  of  these  lands  had  only  opened  the  third  day  of 
the  preceding  February  and  the  new  settlers  were  unable  to  locate 
in  the  territory  until  the  coming  of  spring.  They  had  cleared  a 
few  acres  of  land  on  which  was  growing  their  first  crop  when  the 
Braddock  defeat  occurred. 

Evidently  learning  of  the  outrages  of  Indians  elsewhere  a  brave 
family  named  Robinson,*  the  father's  name  being  George  Robin- 
son, and  their  neighbors  erected  a  log  fort  and  stockade  on  a 
tableland  of  the  Robinson  farm  for  the  protection  of  the  citi- 
zens in  case  of  attack  by  the  Indians.  That  it  was  built  during 
this  first  year  of  the  settlement  of  Perry  County  soil  is  attested 
by  Robert  Robinson  in  his  narrative  telling  of  the  Woolcomber 
tragedy  along  Sherman's  Creek.  According  to  Rupp,  the  histo- 
rian, that  and  other  murders  occurred  in  Sherman's  Valley  towards 
the  close  of  December,  1755 — the  first  year  of  the  settlement  of 
these  lands. 

The  story  of  Robert  Robinson  is  recorded  in  tLoudon's  Nar- 
ratives, the  first  part  of  it  relating  to  the  first  battle  fought  with 
the  Indians  after  Rraddock's  defeat,  in  which  his  brother  lost  his 
life.     It  follows: 

"Sideling  Hill  was  the  first  fought  battle  after  Braddock's  de- 
feat. In  the  year  1756  a  party  of  Indians  came  out  of  Conoco- 
cheague  to  a  garrison  named  McCord's  Fort,  and  killed  some  and 
took  a  number  of  prisoners.  They  then  took  their  course  near  to 
Fort  Littleton.  Captain  Hamilton,  being  stationed  there  with  a 
company,  hearing  of  their  route  at  McCord's  Fort,  marched  with 
his  company  of  men,  having  an  Indian  with  them  who  was  under 
pay.  This  Indian  led  the  company,  and  came  on  the  tracks  of  the 
Indians  and  soon  tracked  them  to  Sideling  Hill,  where  they  found 
them  with  their  prisoners,  and  having  the  first  fire,  but  without 
doing  much  damage,  the  Indians  returned  the  fire,  defeated  our 
men  and  killed  a  number  of  them.  My  brother,  James  Robinson, 
was  among  the  slain.  The  Indians  had  McCord's  wife  with  them ; 
they  cut  off  Mr.  James  Blair's  head  and  threw  it  in  Mrs.  McCord's 
lap,  saving  that  was  her  husband's  head,  but  she  knew  it  to  be 

*The  name  is  variously  spelled  Robison,  Robeson,  and  Robinson.  It  is 
believed  that  the  first  method  was  the  original,  but  as  official  publications 
of  the  state  use  the  latter  and  as  the  descendants  also  do,  that  method  is 
used  in  our  pages. 

fFor  much  of  the  information  contained  in  this  chapter  posterity  is  in- 
debted to  Archibald  Loudon,  author  of  Loudon's  Narratives.  His  father, 
James  Loudon,  was  a  pioneer  in  what  is  now  Tuscarora  Township, 
Perry  County,  and  in  Bull's  Hill  graveyard  there  the  oldest  stone  marks 
his  grave.  Archibald  Loudon  thus  got  his  information  at  first  hand,  there 
being  no  tradition  about  it. 


Robinson  further  says:  "In  1756,  I  remember  of  Woolcomber's 
family  on  Shearman's  Creek;  the  whole  of  the  inhabitants  of  the 
valley  was  gathered  at  Robinson's,  but  Woolcomber  Would  not 
leave  home;  he  said  it  was  the  Irish  who  were  killing  one  an- 
other; these  peaceable  people,  the  Indians,  would  not  hurt  any 
person.  Being  at  home  and  at  dinner,  the  Indians  came  in,  and 
the  Quaker  asked  them  to  come  and  eat  dinner  ;  an  Indian  an- 
nounced that  he  did  not  come  to  eat,  but  for  scalps  ;  the  son,  a 
boy  of  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  of  age,  when  he  heard  the  Indian 
say  so.  repaired  to  a  back  door,  and  as  he  went  out  he  looked 
back,  and  saw  the  Indian  strike  the  tomahawk  into  his  father's 
head.  The  boy  then  ran  over  the  creek,  which  was  near  to  the 
house,  and  heard  the  screams  of  his  mother,  sisters  and  brother. 
The  boy  came  to  our  fort  and  gave  us  the  alarm;  about  forty 
went  to  where  the  murder  was  done  and  buried  the  dead."  The 
scene  of  this  tragedy  was  the  Burchfield  farm,  near  Cisna's  Run. 

Loudon's  Narratives  also  states  that  in  the  year  1755  Peter 
Shaver,  John  Savage  and  two  other  men  were  killed  at  the  mouth 
of   Shaver's  Creek,  or  Juniata,  by  the  Indians. 

In  February,  1756,  Captain  Patterson,  with  a  party  of  scouts, 
went  up  the  Susquehanna  and  reported  the  woods,  from  the  Juni- 
ata to  Shamokin,  to  be  filled  with  Indians.  Encountering  a  party 
of  Indians  they  scalped  one,  which  later  proved  to  be  the  son  of 
Shikellamy's  sister. 

In  Loudon's  Narratives  are  the  following  details  of  another 
scalping:  "February,  1756,  a  party  of  Indians  from  Shamokin 
came  to  Juniata.  They  first  came  to  Hugh  Micheltrees,  being  on 
the  river,  who  had  gone  to  Carlisle,  and  had  got  a  young  man, 
named  Edward  Nicholas,  to  stay  with  his  wife  until  he  would 
return — the  Indians  killed  them  both.  The  same  party  of  In- 
dians went  up  the  river  where  the  Lukens  now  live — William 
Wilcox  lived  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  whose  wife  and 
eldest  son  had  come  over  the  river  on  some  business — the  Indians 
came  while  they  were  there  and  killed  old  Edward  Nicholas  (in 
some  books  the  name  is  given  as  Nicholson)  and  his  wife,  and  took 
Joseph,  Thomas  and  Catharine  Nicholas,  John  Wilcox,  James  Arm- 
strong's wife  and  two  children  prisoners.  An  Indian  named  Cot- 
ties  (Cotter),  who  wished  to  be  captain  of  this  party,  when  they 
did  not  choose  him,  did  not  go  with  them.  He  and  a  boy  went 
to  Shearman's  Creek  and  killed  *William  Sheridan  and  family, 
thirteen  in  number.  They  then  went  down  the  creek  to  where 
three  old  persons  lived,  two  men  and  a  woman,  called  French, 
whom  they  killed ;    of  which  he  often  boasted  afterwards,  that  he 

*Those  killed  at  this  time  were  William  Sheridan,  a  Quaker,  his  wife, 
three  children  and  a  servant;  William  Hamilton,  his  wife  and  daughter 
and  a  man  and  two  women  whose  last  name  was  French. 


and  the  boy  took  more  scalps  than  the  whole  party."  Some  his- 
torians locate  the  scene  of  this  tragedy  as  "being  within  ten  miles 
of  Carlisle,  a  little  beyond  Stephen's  Gap,"  evidently  meaning 
Sterrett's  Gap.  The  location  of  the  French  home  is  uncertain  at 
this  distant  day,  but  was  probably  in  the  vicinity  of  Dellville,  as 
the  description  says  they  went  down  the  creek  from  the  Sheridan 
home.  There  is  little  doubt  that  the  Sheridan  family  lived  along 
the  creek  on  the  farm  long  known  as  the  Levi  Adams  farm,  above 
Dellville.  According  to  the  statement  of  Rev.  L.  C.  Smiley,  Mrs. 
Ludwig  Cornman,  when  near  ninety  years  of  age,  pointed  out  to 
his  mother  the  location  of  the  graves,  which  her  father,  Philip 
Foulk,  had  shown  her,  telling  her  the  story,  exactly  as  printed 
above  and  in  Provincial  Annals.  It  is  in  the  meadow,  adjoining 
the  W.  A.  Smiley  farm,  and  the  Sheridan  house  stood  between 
the  sites  of  the  present  Adams  house  and  barn.  For  years  a  long 
stone,  deeply  set  in  the  ground  and  projecting,  marked  the  graves, 
but  Mr.  Adams  found  it  inconvenient  to  farm  around  it  and  broke 
it  off  with  a  sledge  hammer  on  a  level  with  the  bottom  of  the  fur- 
row. Mr.  Smiley,  at  a  later  period  while  working  in  the  same 
meadow  with  Mr.  Adams,  was  informed  by  him  that  at  the  time 
he  was  unaware  of  the  stone  being  a  marker  of  so  historic  an  inci- 
dent or  he  would  not  have  removed  it. 

Of  the  murder  on  Sherman's  Creek  of  ten  persons  there  remains 
an  affidavit  made  almost  a  decade  later,  being  dated  February  28, 
1764,  and  signed  by  Alexander  Stephens,  then  of  the  county  of 
Lancaster.  He  says  Cotties,  or  Cotter,  came  back  for  a  canoe 
which  the  murderers  had  left  and  admitted  that  he  was  of  the 
party  that  killed  these  settlers. 

On  October  1,  1757,  near  Fort  Hunter — opposite  Marysville — 
this  Indian  named  Cotties  saw  a  young  fellow  named  William 
Martin,*  gathering  chestnuts,  and  killed  him.  In  later  years  he 
got  his  just  deserts.  After  the  Indian  war  was  over  he  appeared 
at  Fort  Hunter  and  boasted  of  the  friendship  he  had  had  for  the 
settlers.  An  Indian  named  Hambus,  who  had  been  friendly  all 
the  while,  called  him  a  liar  and  told  of  him  causing  all  the  trouble 
possible  and  of  seeing  him  kill  Martin.  An  altercation  ensued,  but 
the  white  settlers  stopped  it.  Later  in  the  day  Cotties  became 
drunk  and  while  asleep  the  other  Indian  sunk  his  tomahawk  into 
his  skull. 

Robert  Robinson,  mentioned  a  number  of  times  in  these  pages, 
was  a  hero  and  well  known  to  Archibald  Loudon,  both  being  from 
Perry  County  territory.     In  introducing  his  narratives  Mr.  Lou- 

*This  William  Martin  was  the  second  son  of  Samuel  Martin,  of  Pax- 
tang,  whose  uncle  James  had  warranted  the  Fort  Hunter  property.  He 
was  a  brother  of  Captain  Joseph  Martin,  who  became  owner  of  the  Mar- 
tin mills,  in  what  is  now  Howe  Township,  upon  the  death  of  his  father. 


don  thus  refers  to  him:  "Robert  Robinson,  who  was  an  eye  wit- 
ness of  many  of  the  transactions  related  by  him,  was  wounded  at 
Kittanning,  when  it  was  taken  by  Colonel,  later  General  John 
Armstrong,  and  a  second  time  at  Buffalo  Creek,  when  two  ot  his 
brothers  fell  victims  to  savage  fury.  From  our  long  acquaintance 
with  this  man,  who  is  now  no  more,  we  can  have  no  hesitation  in 
believing  the  narratives  correct,  to  the  best  of  his  remembrance." 
The  French  left  unturned  no  stone  in  their  efforts  to  enlist  the 
Delaware's  and  often  they  were  successful  by  preying  upon  the 
savage  disposition  through  intrigue  and  deception.  The  following 
letter  from  Captain  McKee  to  Edward  Shippen,  headed  "Foart 
at  Hunter's  Mill,  Ap'l  5th,  1756,"  is  an  example  of  their  schemes: 
"Sir:  I  desire  to  let  you  No  that  John  Secalemy,  Indian,  is  Come  here 
ye  Day  before  yesterday,  about  4  o'clock  in  ye  afternoon,  &  Gives  me  an 
account  that  there  is  a  Great  Confusion  amongst  ye  Indians  up  ye  North 
branch  of  Susquehanna;  the  Delawares  are  a  moving  all  from  thence  to 
Ohio,  and  wants  to  Persuade  ye  Shanowes  along  with  them,  but  they 
Decline  Goeing  with  them  that  course,  and  as  they  still  incline  to  join  with 
us,  the  Shanowes  are  Goeing  up  to  a  Town  Called  Teoga,  where  there  is  a 
body  of  ye  Six  Nations,  and  there  they  Intend  to  Remain.  He  has 
brought  two  more  men,  som  women  &  som  children  along  with  him,  and 
Sayeth  that  he  Intends  to  live  &  Die  with  us,  and  Insists  upon  my  Con- 
ducting him  down  to  where  his  Sister  and  children  is,  at  Canistogo,  and 
I'm  Loath  to  leave  my  Post,  as  his  Honor  was  offended  at  ye  last  time 
I  did,  but  can't  help  it,  he  Desires  to  acquaint  you  that  his  sister's  son 
was  killed  at  Perm's  Creek,  in  ye  scrimege  w'th  Cap't.  Patterson.  This 
with  Due  Respect  from  Sir,  your  Hum'l  Ser't, 

"Thomas  McKee." 
There  were  many  encounters  between  the  English  and  the  In- 
dians.    Loudon,  in  his  narratives,  says  that  few  of  the  achieve- 
ments equal  that  of  Samuel  Bell,  a  wealthy  farmer  of  Cumberland 
It  follows : 

"Samuel  Bell  and  his  brother,  George  Bell,  after  Braddock's  defeat, 
agreed  to  go  into  Shearman's  Valley  to  hunt  for  deer,  and  were  to  meet 
at  Croghan's  (now  Sterrett's)  Gap,  on  the  Blue  Mountain;  by  some 
means  or  other  they  did  not  meet,  and  Samuel  slept  all  night  in  a  cabin 
belonging  to  Mr.  Patton,  on  Shearman's  Creek.  In  the  morning  he  had 
not  traveled  far  before  he  spied  three  Indians,  who  at  the  same  time 
saw  him;  they  all  fired  at  each  other;  he  wounded  one  of  the  Indians, 
but  received  no  damage,  except  through  his  clothes  by  the  shots;  several 
shots  were  fired  on  both  sides,  as  each  took  a  tree;  he  took  out  his 
tomahawk  and  stuck  it  into  the  tree  behind  which  he  stood,  so  that 
should  they  approach  he  might  be  prepared.  The  tree  was  grazed  by 
bullets  and  he  had  thoughts  of  making  his  escape  by  flight,  but  on  reflec- 
tion had  doubts  of  his  being  able  to  outrun  them.  After  some  time  the 
two  Indians  took  the  wounded  one  and  put  him  over  a  fence  and  one 
took  one  course  and  the  other  another,  taking  a  compass  so  that  Bell 
could  no  longer  secure  himself  by  the  tree,  but  by  trying  to  ensnare  him 
they  had  to  expose  themselves,  by  which  means  he  had  the  good  fortune 
to  shoot  one  of  them  dead.  The  other  ran,  took  the  dead  Indian  on  his 
back,  one  leg  over  each  shoulder;  by  this  time  Bell's  gun  was  again 
loaded  and  he  ran  after  the  Indian  until  he  came  within  about  four  yards, 


fired  and  shot  through  the  dead  Indian  and  lodged  his  ball  in  the  other, 
who  dropped  the  dead  man  and  ran  off.  On  his  return,  coining  past  the 
fence  where  the  wounded  Indian  was,  he  despatched  him  but  did  not  know 
he  had  killed  the  third  Indian  until  his  bones  were  found  afterwards." 

The  prominent  Bell  families  of  the  past  and  the  present  gen- 
erations located  in  Rye  Township  are,  however,  not  descendants 
of  this  same  family. 

In  a  letter  by  James  Young  dated  July  18,  1756,  at  Carlisle,  to 
"the  Hon.  Gov.  Morris,"  among  other  things  is  another  reference 
to  Sherman's  Valley,  as  follows : 

I  left  Shamokin  early  on  Friday  morning  in  a  battoe ;  we  rowed  her 
down  to  Harris'  Ferry  before  night,  with  four  oars.  There  is  but  one 
fall  above  those  you  saw,  not  so  bad  as  those  at  Hunter's ;  it  is  about 
four  miles  from  Fort  Halifax.  1  came  here  yesterday  noon  hoping  to 
find  money  sent  by  the  commissioners  to  pay  the  forces  on  this  side  of 
the  river  as  they  promised,  but  as  yet  none  is  come.  Neither  is  Colonel 
Armstrong  come,  and  I  find  but  sixteen  of  his  men  here,  the  rest  having 
gone  to  Shearman's  Valley  to  protect  the  farmers  at  the  harvest,  so  when 
the  money  comes  I  shall  be  at  a  loss  for  an  escort.  I  am  informed  that  a 
number  of  men  at  the  forts  whose  three  months  is  expired  agreeable  to 
their  enlistments  have  left  their  posts  and  expect  their  pay  when  I  go 
there.  This  may  be  of  bad  consequence  and  I  heartily  wish  there  were 
none  enlisted  for  less  than  twelve  months.  I  am  persuaded  the  officers 
would  find  men  enough  for  that  time. 

The  distress  of  the  frontier  settlements  at  this  time  had  became 
a  tragedy  and  any  attempt  to  portray  their  sufferings  and  fears 
would  prove  a  failure.  In  the  fall  of  1755  the  country  west  of  the 
Susquehanna  and  north  of  the  Blue  or  Kittatinny  Mountain  had 
three  thousand  men  fit  to  bear  arms,  and  in  August,  1756,  exclu- 
sive of  the  provincial  forces,  there  were  not  one  hundred,  fear 
having  driven  the  greater  part  from  their  homes  into  the  more 
settled  part  of  the  province.  Governor  Morris,  in  his  message  to 
the  Assembly,  August  16,  1756,  said:  "The  people  to  the  west  of 
the  Susquehanna,  distressed  by  the  frequent  incursions  of  the 
enemy  and  weakened  by  their  great  losses,  are  moving  into  the 
interior  parts  of  the  province,  and  I  am  fearful  that  the  whole 
county  will  be  evacuated,  if  timely  and  vigorous  measures  are  not 
taken  to  prevent  it." 

The  Assembly  were  inclined  to  disregard  the  appeals,  but  the 
frequent  reports  of  additional  outrages  impelled  them  to  pass  a 
measure  providing  for  the  appropriation  of  forty  thousand  pounds 
which  was  to  be  raised  by  taxing  the  proprietary  estates.  The 
governor,  being  indebted  to  the  proprietaries  for  his  position, 
vetoed  the  bill.  The  proprietary,  however,  made  a  contribution 
of  five  thousand  pounds,  which  was  applied  to  the  defence  of  the 
frontier.  Governor  Morris  and  the  Assembly  not  being  able  to 
agree  on  the  matter  of  protecting  the  frontier  from  the  ravages 
of  the  Indians  the  entire  matter,  including  the  petitions  from  citi- 


zens,  was  laid  before  the  King  of  Great  Britain,  who  ordered  a 
hearing  before  a  committee  of  the  Privy  Council.  At  this  hearing 
Cumberland  County  (which  included  Perry)  and  the  Assembly 
were  represented  by  counsel  and  the  Assembly  was  criticized  for 

its  conduct  in  relation  to  the  public  defense  dating  as  far  back  as 

Upon  consideration  of  the  report  of  the  committee  the  Privy 
Council  went  upon  record  that  the  Legislature  of  Pennsylvania, 
as  of  every  other  county,  was  bound  to  support  its  government 
and  its  subjects;  that  the  measures  heretofore  adopted  by  the 
Assembly  for  that  purpose  were  improper,  inadequate  and  inef- 
fectual ;  and  that  there  was  no  cause  to  hope  for  other  measures 
while  the  majority  of  the  Assembly  consisted  of  persons  whose 
avowed  principles  were  against  military  service;  who,  though  not 
a  sixth  part  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  province,  were  admitted  to 
hold  offices  of  trust  and  profit,  and  to  sit  in  the  Assembly  without 
their  allegiance  being  secured  by  the  sanction  of  an  oath. 

The  massacres  which  followed  Braddock's  defeat  were  princi- 
pally laid  to  King  Shingas  (Shingask),  the  greatest  Delaware 
warrior  of  his  period.  Among  the  settlements  that  fell  prey  to  him 
was  Sherman's  Valley,  says  Rupp,  the  historian.  He  was  a  small 
personage  but  his  savagery  is  said  to  have  been  unrelenting. 

Those  who  had  not  fled  or  whose  interests  lay  in  the  desolated 
territory  petitioned  the  governor,  council,  and  assembly  for  pro- 
tection against  the  relentless  foe,  the  same  being  read  in  Council, 
August  21,  1756.  Among  the  signatures  are  the  ancestors  of  many 
Perry  Countians.    The  petition  : 

To  the  Honorable  Robert  Hunter  Morris,  Esq.,  Lieut.  Governor  of  the 
Province  of  Pennsylvania: 
The  address  of  part  of  the  remaining  inhabitants  of  Cumberland  County, 
most  humbly  showeth,  that  the  French  and  their  savage  allies,  have  from 
time  to  time  made  several  incursions  into  this  county,  have  in  the  most 
inhuman  and  barbarous  manner  murdered  great  numbers  of  our  people 
and  carried  others  into  captivity,  and  being  greatly  emboldened  by  a 
series  of  success,  not  only  attempted  but  also  took  Fort  Granville  on  the 
30th  of  July  last,  then  commanded  by  the  late  Lieutenant  Edward  Arm- 
strong, and  carried  off  the  greater  part  of  the  garrison,  prisoners,  from 
whom'  doubtless  the  enemy  will  be  informed  of  the  weakness  of  this 
frontier,  and  how  incapable  we  are  of  defending  ourselves  against  their 
incursions,  which  will  be  a  great  inducement  for  them  to  redouble  their 
attacks,  and  in  all  probability  force  the  remaining  inhabitants  of  this 
county  to  evacuate  it.  Great  numbers  of  the  inhabitants  are  already  fled, 
and  others  preparing  to  go  off;  finding  that  it  is  not  in  the  power  of  the 
troops  in  the  pay  of  the  government  (were  we  certain  of  their  being  con- 
tinued) to  prevent  the  ravages  of  our  restless,  barbarous  and  merciless 
enemy.  It  is  therefore  greatly  to  be  doubted  that  (without  a  further  pro- 
tection) the  inhabitants  of  this  comity  will  shortly  endeavor  to  save  them- 
selves and  their  effects  by  flight,  which  must  consequently  be  productive 
of  considerable  inconveniences  to  his  majesty's  interest  in  general,  and  to 
the  welfare  of  the  people  of  this  province  in  particular. 


Your  petitioners  being  fully  convinced  of  your  honor's  concern  for  a 
strict  attention  to  his  majesty's  interest,  have  presumed  to  request  that 
your  honor  would  be  pleased  to  take  our  case  into  consideration,  and,  if 
agreeable  to  your  honor's  judgment,  to  make  application  to  his  excellency, 
General  Loudon,  that  part  of  the  troops  now  raising  for  his  excellency's 
regiment  may  be  sent  to,  and  for  some  time,  continued  in  some  of  the 
most  important  and  advantageous  posts  in  this  county,  by  whose  assistance 
we  may  be  able  to  continue  a  frontier  if  possible,  and  thereby  induce  the 
remaining  inhabitants  to  secure,  at  least,  a  part  of  the  immense  quantity 
of  grain  which  now  lies  exposed  to  the  enemy  and  subject  to  be  destroyed 
or  taken  away  by  them ;  and  also  enable  the  provincial  troops  to  make 
incursions  into  the  enemy's  country,  which*  would  contribute  greatly  to  the 
safety  and  satisfaction  of  your  honor's  petitioners —  and  your  petitioners, 
as  in  duty  bound  shall  ever  pray,  &c. 

The  signatures :  Francis  West,  John  Welch,  James  Dickson,  Robert 
Erwin,  Samuel  Smith,  Wm.  Buchanan,  Daniel  Williams,  John  Montgomery, 
Thomas  Barker,  John  Lindsay,  Thomas  Urie,  James  Buchanan,  Wm. 
Spear,  James  Pollock,  Andrew  Mclntyre,  Robert  Gibson,  Garret  McDaniel, 
Arthur  Foster,  James  Brandon,  John  Houston,  Patrick  McCollom,  James 
Reed,  Thomas  Lockertt,  Andrew  Dalton,  John  Irwin,  Wm.  BIyth,  Robert 
Miller,  Wm.  Miller,  James  Young,  John  Davis,  John  Mitchell,  John  Pat- 
tison,  Samuel  Stevens,  John  Fox,  Charles  Pattison,  John  Foster,  Wm. 
McCaskey,  Andrew  Calhoun,  Jas.  Stackpole,  Wm.  Sebbe,  Jas.  Robb, 
Samuel  Anderson,  Robert  Robb,  Samuel  Hunter,  A.  Forster,  N'ath.  Smyth. 

Attack  of  Fort  Robinson. 

Of  the  attack  on  Fort  Robinson  during  harvest  time  in  1756 
there  is  record,  as  the  narrative  of  Robert  Robinson,  of  that  hardy 
pioneer  family  of  Robinsons,  was  preserved  for  posterity  by 
Loudon,  the  historian,  in  his  work  known  as  Loudon's  Narratives 
The  Indians  had  murdered  some  persons  in  Sherman's  Valley  in 
July  and  waylaid  the  fort  in  harvest  time.  They  kept  quiet  until 
the  reapers  had  gone  into  the  clearings  to  harvest,  when  a  chance 
shot  at  a  mark  by  Robert  Robinson  caused  them  to  imagine  they 
were  discovered.     But  let  us  listen  to  his  story,  just  as  related : 

"The  Indians  murdered  some  persons  in  the  Shearman's  Valley  in  July 
and  waylaid  the  fort  in  harvest  time,  and  kept  quiet  until  the  reapers  were 
gone;  James  Wilson  remaining  some  time  behind  the  rest  and  I  not  being 
gone  to  my  business,  which  was  hunting  deer,  for  the  use  of  the  company. 
Wilson  standing  at  the  Fort  gate  I  desired  liberty  to  shoot  his  gun  at  a 
mark,  upon  which  he  gave  me  the  gun  and  I  shot.  The  Indians  on  the 
upper  side  of  the  fort,  thinking  they  were  discovered,  rushed  on  a  daughter 
of  Robert  Miller  and  instantly  killed  her  and  shot  at  John  Simmeson. 
They  then  made  the  best  of  it  that  they  could  and  killed  the  wife  of 
James  Wilson,  and  the  widow  Gibson  and  took  Hugh  Gibson  and  Betsy 
Henry  prisoners.  The  reapers  being  forty  in  number,  returned  to  the  fort 
and  the  Indians  dispersed." 

While  the  Indian  was  scalping  Mrs.  Wilson,  Robert  Robinson 
took  a  shot  at  him,  wounding  him,  but  he  escaped. 

The  story  of  Hugh  Gibson,  who  was  carried  away  by  the  In- 
dians at  that  time,  reads  like  romance.  It  is  recorded  by  Archibald 
Loudon,  that  first  historian  from  Perry  County  territory,  in  his 
book,  Loudon's  Narratives,  as  follows : 


"I  was,"  says  Gibson,  "taken  captive  by  the  Indians,  from  Robinson's 
fort,  in  Shearman's  Valley,  in  July,  1756,  at  which  time  my  mother  was 
killed;  I  was  taken  back  to  their  towns,  where  I  suffered  much  from 
hunger  and  abuse ;  many  times  they  beat  me  most  severely,  and  once 
they  sent  me  to  gather  wood  to  burn  myself,  but  I  cannot  tell  whether 
they  intended  to  do  it  or  to  frighten  me;  however,  T  did  not  remain  long 
before  I  was  adopted  into  an  Indian  family,  and  then  I  lived  as  they  did, 
though  the  living  was  very  poor.  I  was  then  about  fourteen  years  of  age; 
my  Indian  father's  name  was  Busqueetam  ;  he  was  lame  in  consequence  of 
a  wound  received  by  his  knife  in  skinning  a  deer,  and  being  unable  to 
walk,  he  ordered  me  to  drive  forks  in  the  ground  and  cover  it  with  bark 
to  make  a  lodge  for  him  to  lie  in,  but  the  forks  not  being  secure  they  gave 
way  and  the  bark  fell  down  upon  him  and  hurt  him  very  much,  which  put 
him  into  a  great  rage  and  calling  his  wife,  ordered  us  to  carry  him  on  a 
blanket  into  the  hut  and  I  must  be  one  that  helps  to  carry  him  in  ;  while 
we  were  carrying  him  I  saw  him  hunting  for  the  knife,  but  my  Indian 
mother  had  taken  care  to  convey  it  away,  and  when  we  had  got  him  again 
fixed  in  his  bed,  my  mother  ordered  me  to  conceal  myself,  which  I  did; 
I  afterward  heard  him  reproving  her  for  putting  away  the  knife,  for  by 
this  time  I  had  learned  to  understand  a  little  of  their  language.  However, 
his  passion  wore  off  and  we  did  very  well  for  the  future. 

"Some  time  after  this  all  the  prisoners  in  the  neighborhood  were  col- 
lected to  be  spectators  of  the  cruel  death  of  a  poor,  unhappy  woman,  a 
prisoner,  amongst  which  number  I  was.  When  Colonel  Armstrong  de- 
stroyed the  Kittanning  fort  this  woman  fled  to  the  white  men,  but  by  some 
means  lost  them  and  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Indians,  who  stripped  her 
naked,  bound  her  to  a  post,  and  applying  hot  irons  to  her  whilst  the  skin 
stuck  to  the  iron  at  every  touch,  she  screaming  in  the  most  pitiful  manner, 
and  crying  for  mercy,  but  these  ruthless  barbarians  were  deaf  to  her 
agonizing  shrieks  and  prayers,  and  continued  their  cruelty  till  death  re- 
leased her  from  the  torture  of  those  hellish  fiends.  Of  this  shocking  scene 
at  which  human  nature  shudders,  the  prisoners  were  all  brought  to  be 

"I  shall  omit  giving  any  account  of  our  encamping  or  decamping,  or  our 
moving  from  place  to  place,  as  every  one  knows  this  is  the  most  constant 
employment  of  Indians.  I  had  now  become  pretty  well  acquainted  with 
their  manners  and  customs,  had  learned  their  language  and  was  become 
a  tolerable  good  hunter — was  admitted  to  their  dances,  to  their  sacrifices 
and  religious  ceremonies.  Some  of  them  have  a  tolerable  good  idea  of 
the  Supreme  Being;  and  I  have  heard  some  of  them  very  devoutly  thank- 
ing their  Maker,  that  they  had  seen  another  spring  and  had  seen  the 
flowers  upon  the  earth.  I  observed  that  their  prayers  and  praises  were 
for  temporal  things.  They  had  one  bad  custom  amongst  them;  that  if 
one  man  kill  another,  the  friends  of  the  deceased,  if  they  cannot  get  the 
murderer,  they  will  kill  the  nearest  akin.  I  once  saw  an  instance  of  this: 
two  of  them  quarreled  and  the  one  killed  the  other,  upon  which  the  friends 
of  the  deceased  rose  in  pursuit  of  the  murderer,  but  he  having  made  his 
escape,  his  friends  were  all  hiding  themselves ;  but  the  pursuers  hap- 
pened to  find  a  brother  of  the  murderer,  a  boy  concealed  under  a  log; 
they  immediately  pulled  him  out  from  his  concealment ;  he  plead  strongly 
that  it  was  not  him  that  killed  the  man  ;  this  had  no  weight  with  the 
avengers  of  blood;  they  instantly  sunk  their  tomahawks  into  his  body 
and  despatched  him.  But  they  have  some  rules  and  regulations  among 
them  that  are  good;  their  ordinary  way  of  living  is  miserable  and  poor, 
often  without  food.  They  were  amazingly  dirty  in  their  cookery;  some- 
times they  catch  a  number  of  frogs,  and  hang  them  up  to  dry ;    when   a 


deer  is  killed  they  will  split  up  the  guts  and  give  them  a  plunge  or  two 
in  the  water  and  then  dry  them  and  when  they  run  out  of  provisions  they 
will  take  some  of  the  dried  frogs  and  some  of  the  deer  guts  and  boil  them 
till  the  flesh  of  the  frogs  is  dissolved,  then  they  sup  the  broth. 

"Having  now  been  with  them  a  considerable  time,  a  favorable  oppor- 
tunity offered  for  me  to  regain  my  liberty;  my  old  father,  Busqueetam, 
lost  a  horse,  and  he  sent  me  to  look  for  him  ;  after  searching  some  time 
I  came  home  and  told  him  that  I  had  discovered  his  tracks  at  some  con- 
siderable distance  and  that  I  thought  I  could  find  him  ;  that  I  would  take 
my  gun  and  provisions  and  would  hunt  for  three  or  four  days  and  if  I 
could  kill  a  bear  or  deer  I  would  pack  home  the  meat  on  my  horse;  ac- 
cordingly I  packed  up  some  provisions  and  started  towards  the  white  set- 
tlements, not  fearing  pursuit  for  some  days,  and  by  that  time  I  would  be 
out  of  the  reach  of  the  pursuers.  But  before  I  was  aware  I  was  almost 
at  a  large  camp  of  Indians,  by  a  creek  side;  this  was  in  the  evening  and 
I  had  to  conceal  myself  in  a  thicket  till  it  was  dark  and  then  passed  the 
camp,  and  crossed  the  creek  in  one  of  their  canoes.  I  was  much  afraid 
that  their  dogs  would  give  the  alarm,  but  happily  got  safe  past.  I  trav- 
eled on  for  several  days,  and  on  my  way  I  spied  a  bear,  shot  at  and 
wounded  him,  so  that  he  could  not  run,  but  being  too  hasty  ran  up  to 
him  with  my  tomahawk;  but  before  I  could  give  a  blow  he  gave  me  a 
severe  stroke  on  the  leg,  which  pained  me  very  much,  and  retarded  my 
journey  much  longer  than  it  otherwise  would  have  been.  However  I 
traveled  on  as  well  as  I  could  till  I  got  to  the  Allegheny  River,  where  I 
collected  some  poles,  with  which  I  made  a  raft  and  bound  it  together  with 
elm  bark  and  grape  vines,  by  which  means  I  got  over  the  river,  but  in 
crossing  which  I  lost  my  gun.  I  arrived  at  Fort  Pitt  in  fourteen  days 
from  the  time  of  my  start,  after  a  captivity  of  five  years  and  four  months." 

Hugh  Gibson,  mentioned  as  being  taken  captive,  was  the  son  of 
David  Gibson,  who  came  from  County  Tyrone,  Ireland,  about 
1740  and  settled  in  Lancaster  County,  where  Hugh  was  born  in 
1 741.  His  mother's  maiden  name  was  Mary  McClelland.  The 
father  died  while  Hugh  was  quite  young  and  the  widowed  mother, 
with  her  three  children,  Hugh,  Israel,  and  Mary,  removed  to  the 
vicinity  of  Fort  Robinson,  then  Tyrone  Township,  to  be  near  her 
brother,  William  McClelland,  who  resided  near  Centre  church. 
During  that  summer  season  of  1756,  when  Indian  uprisings  were 
common  and  the  war  whoop  resounded  through  the  forests,  the 
widow  and  her  children  had  taken  refuge  in  the  stockade  at  Fort 
Robinson.  With  her  eldest  son  Hugh,  Mrs.  Gibson  was  out  in 
the  woods  looking  for  their  cattle,  when  she  was  shot  down  and 
scalped  and  her  son  chased  and  captured.  He  was  carried  away 
ti»  the  Indian  town  of  Kittanning  and  adopted  into  an  Indian 
family  to  take  the  place  of  a  son  killed  in  battle  with  the  Cherokees. 
llis  initiation  into  the  tribe  is  said  to  have  been  by  washing  him 
thoroughly  in  the  river  which  he  was  told  washed  away  his  white 
blood.     From  then  on  he  was  called  brother  by  the  Indians. 

He  had  been  compelled  to  witness  the  cruel  death  of  a.  captive 
and  when  the  Indians  thought  that  he  entertained  thoughts  of  es- 
cape he  was  told  that  he  would  be  served  the  same  death  and  wag 


treated  with  extreme  cruelty.  In  one  instance  he  was  set  to  carry- 
ing wood  to  be  used  in  his  own  death  by  burning  at  the  stake. 
Happily  this  threat  was  never  carried  out.  When  Armstrong 
took  the  Indian  town  of  Kittanning  with  his  company  from  Car- 
lisle, Gibson  was  kept  in  the  rear  in  the  woods  with  the  old  men, 
squaws  and  children  but  he  was  near  enough  to  hear  the  sound  of 
the  guns  as  they  battled.  After  the  fall  of  their  stronghold  they 
retreated  to  the  region  of  the  Muskingum  River  in  Ohio,  where, 
at  the  point  where  its  two  branches  joined,  was  located  a  large 
Delaware  town.  In  fact,  that  was  the  extreme  western  point  to 
which  traveled  those  early  missionaries.  Rev.  Dnffield  and  Rev. 
Beatty,  who  were  the  first  advance  agents  of  Christianity  in  Perry 
County  territory. 

After  his  return  to  the  settled  portion  of  the  province  he  resided 
with  his  maternal  uncle,  William  McClelland,  near  the  scene  of  his 
capture,  later  marrying  a  Miss  Mary  White,  of  Lancaster,  and 
rearing  a  large  family.  After  the  Revolutionary  War  he  removed 
to  Crawford  County,  Pennsylvania,  where  he  died  at  an  advanced 
age,  Tuly  30,  1826.  Rev.  Dr.  George  Norcross,  the  prominent 
divine  so  long  pastor  of  the  Second  Presbyterian  church  of  Car- 
lisle, was  a  descendant,  being  his  great-grandson. 

Baskins  Family  Abducted. 

Some  time  after  Braddock's  defeat  Fort  Granville  was  erected 
at  a  place  called  Old  Town,  on  the  bank  of  the  Juniata,  some  dis- 
tance from  the  present  site  of  Lewistown,  then  Cumberland,  now 
Mifflin  County,  where  a  company  of  enlisted  soldiers  were  kept, 
under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Armstrong.  The  position  of 
the  fort  was  not  favorable.  The  Indians  had  been  lurking  about 
there  for  some  time  and  knew  that  Armstrong's  men  were  few  in 
number,  sixty  of  them  appeared  July  22,  1756,  before  the  fort, 
and  challenged  the  garrison  to  combat ;  but  this  was  declined  by 
the  commander,  in  consequence  of  the  weakness  of  his  force.  The 
Indians  fired  at  and  wounded  one  man  belonging  to  the  fort,  who 
had  been  a  short  way  from  it,  yet  he  got  in  safe  ;  after  which 
they  divided  themselves  in  small  parties,  one  of  which  attacked  the 
plantation  of  one  Baskins,  near  Juniata,  whom  they  murdered, 
burnt  his  house  and  carried  off  his  wife  and  children  ;  and  an- 
other made  Hugh  Carroll  and  family  prisoners. 

The  Indians  on  one  occasion  murdered  a  family  of  seven  per- 
sons on  Sherman's  Creek ;  from  there  they  passed  over  the  moun- 
tain at  Croghan's  (Sterrett's)  Gap,  wounded  a  man,  killed  a  horse 
and  captured  a  Mrs.  Boyde,  her  two  sons  and  a  daughter  upon  the 
Conodoguinet  Creek. 

The  Shawnees  and  Delaware  Indians,  aided  and  abetted  by  the 
French,  continued  their  hellishness  until  1757,  when  negotiations 



for  peace  were  begun  by  the  chiefs  of  these  tribes ;  but  the  French 
and  the  western  Indians  still  kept  up  a  desultory  and  sanguinary 

Battle  With  Indians  at  Peters'  Mountain. 

At  Peters'  Mountain,  opposite  the  location  of  Duncannon,  ac- 
cording to  the  Pennsylvania  Gazette  of  October  27,  1757,  an  en- 
gagement took  place.  It  says:  "We  have  advices  from  Paxton, 
that  on  the  17th  inst.,  as  four  of  our  inhabitants,  near  Hunter's 
Fort  were  pulling  their  Indian  corn,  when  two  of  them,  Alexander 
Watt  and  John  McKennet,  were  killed  and  scalped,  their  heads 

In    the    foreground,    waters    of    the    Juniata,    the    small    boats    being    moored    at    the 
eastern   landing  of  the  old   Baskins  Ferry,   on    Duncan's   Island.     To   the   right   Clark's 
Ferry    Dam    in    the    Susquehanna,    with    Peter's    Mountain    as   a    Background. 

being  cut  off;  the  other  two  scalped.  That  Captain  Work,  of  the 
Augusta  regiment,  coming  down  from  Fort  Halifax,  met  the  sav- 
ages at  Peters'  Mountain,  about  twenty  of  them ;  when  they  fired 
upon  him,  at  about  forty  yards'  distance,  upon  which  his  party 
returned  the  fire  and  put  the  enemy  to  flight,  leaving  behind  them 
five  horses,  with  what  plunder  they  had  got ;  and  that  one  of  the 
Indians  was  supposed  to  be  wounded,  by  the  blood  that  was  seen 
in  their  tracks.     None  of  Captain  Work's  men  were  hurt." 


Indians  were  used  as  guides  and  interpreters  by  the  provincial 
troops  and  the  troops  were  constantly  aided  by  the  pioneers.  From 
a  report  from  Col.  John  Armstrong  dated  Carlisle,  July  II,  1757, 
the  following  extract  relating  to  Sherman's  Valley  is  made :  "On 
Wednesday  last  Lieutenant  Armstrong  marched  with  forty  sol- 
diers, accompanied  by  Mr.  Smith,  the  Indian  interpreter,  and  ten 
Indians,  into  Sherman's  Valley,  where  some  of  the  enemy  had 
been  discovered.  They  were  joined  by  thirty  of  the  country  people 
who  wanted  to  bring  over  their  cattle  from  that  place.  On  Thurs- 
day they  found  the  tracks  of  the  enemy  and  followed  them  with 
spirit  enough  until  evening,  when  the  tracks  made  toward  this 
valley ;  next  morning  the  Cherokees  discovered  some  tracks  bear- 
ing off  to  the  westward,  upon  which  they  said  they  were  discov- 
ered and  that  those  bearing  towards  the  westward  were  going  to 
inform  a  body  of  the  enemy,  which  they  said  was  not  far  off ;  upon 
which  the  lieutenant  told  the  interpreter  that  his  orders  particu- 
larly led  him  to  make  discovery  of  the  enemy's  encampment  (if 
any  such  there  was)  and  to  know  whether  any  were  drove  off  for 
their  support.  But  two  or  three  of  the  bravest  of  the  Indians 
freely  told  the  interpreter  that  their  young  men  were  afraid  that 
the  enemy  discovered  them  and  therefore  no  advantage  could  at 
that  time  be  got ;  nor  could  the  interpreter  prevail  on  them  to 
stay  any  longer  out.  The  lieutenant  reconnoitered  the  country 
towards  Juniata,  and  returned  last  night  without  any  discovery  of 
a  lurking  party  of  the  enemy  behind  us." 

Even  if  a  few  had  remained  north  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue 
Mountain  to  attend  to  the  stock,  or  if  trips  were  made  across  the 
mountain  for  that  purpose,  yet  Sherman's  Valley  was  practically 
abandoned  in  1756,  in  so  far  as  actual  residence  was  concerned. 
The  settlers  had  gradually  gone  back,  however,  until  in  1763,  as 
the  next  chapter  will  show,  they  were  again  driven  from  their 
homes  by  a  devastating  and  relentless  Indian  warfare. 




IN  1758  the  provincial  authorities  and  the  Indians  made  a 
treaty  of  peace  and  friendship  at  Easton,  and,  generally  speak- 
ing, the  Indian  massacres  were  over;  yet  unattached  bands 
of  marauding  savages  appeared  at  times  and  committed  murders. 
In  fact  the  war  between  the  English  and  the  French  still  continued 
until  1762.  A  secret  confederacy  had  also  been  formed  by  the 
Shawnees  and  the  various  tribes  along  the  Ohio  and  about  De- 
troit for  the  purpose  of  attacking  simultaneously  the  English  posts 
and  settlements  on  the  frontiers,  and  the  territory  which  is  now 
Perry  County  was  certainly  not  only  the  frontier,  but  the  "front 

This  was  termed  by  the  frontier  inhabitants,  the  Pontiac  War, 
by  reason  of  Pontiac,  a  chief  of  the  Ottawas,  being  the  evil  genius 
who  was  one  of  the  principals  in  the  inception.  The  province  had 
dealt  leniently — too  leniently — with  the  Indians  and  a  treaty  of 
peace  was  usually  accompanied  by  expensive  and  numerous  pres- 
ents, which  in  reality  put  a  premium  on  war,  as  there  could  be 
no  treaties  of  peace  without  the  necessary  preceding  war.  A  cer- 
tain day  was  set  apart  and  the  frontiers  everywhere  were  to  be 
attacked  at  the  same  time.  A  bundle  of  small  rods  had  been  given 
to  every  tribe  and  one  was  to  be  withdrawn  on  the  morning  of  each 
day,  and  on  the  date  of  the  withdrawal  of  the  final  rod  the  general 
attack  was  to  have  been  made.  From  the  bundle  going  to  those 
who  were  to  attack  Fort  Pitt,  at  the  present  site  of  Pittsburgh, 
a  squaw,  not  in  sympathy  with  the  movement,  drew  a  few  rods. 
This  accounts  for  the  actions  of  the  Indians  in  attacking  that  place 
ahead  of  the  designated  day,  which  news  was  hurried  abroad  and 
which  put  some  settlements  on  their  guard. 

Their  plan  was  deliberate  and  skillful.  The  border  settlements 
were  to  be  invaded  during  harvest,  the  people,  corn  and  cattle  de- 
stroyed and  the  land  thus  laid  waste.  Traders  had  been  invited 
among  them  and  these  were  first  put  out  of  the  way,  their  goods 
being  plundered.  The  country  was  then  put  at  the  mercy  of  scalp- 
ing parties  and  desolation  followed  in  their  wake.  It  is  said  the 
roads  were  literally  covered  with  women  and  children  seeking 
refuge  at  Lancaster  and  Philadelphia.  The  forts  at  Presque  Isle, 
Lebeuf  and  Venango  had  been  captured  and  the  garrisons  mas- 
sacred.    For  Ljgonier  was  barely  saved.     The  soil  of  Perry  was 


overrun  by  these  western  Indians  and  fortunately  records  exist 
which  show  some  of  the  horrors,  but  many  of  them  were  in  such 
exposed  places  that  no  one  was  left  to  tell  the  tale. 

In  correspondence  to  the  Pennsylvania  Gazelle,  dated  Carlisle, 
July  12,  1763,  is  the  following,  which  covers  the  horrible  situa- 
tion, not  only  of  what  is  now  Perry,  but  of  Juniata  and  of  Cum- 
berland : 

"I  embrace  this  first  leisure  since  yesterday  morning  to  transmit  you  a 
brief  account  of  our  present  state  of  affairs  here,  which  indeed  is  very 
distressing;  every  day  almost  affording  some  fresh  object  to  awaken  the 
compassion,  alarm  the  fears  or  kindle  into  resentment  and  vengeance  every 
sensible  breast,  while  flying  families  obliged  to  abandon  house  and  pos- 
session, to  save  their  lives  by  a  hasty  escape;  mourning  widows,  bewail- 
ing their  husbands  surprised  and  massacred  by  savage  rage ;  tender  par- 
ents lamenting  the  fruit  of  their  own  bodies,  cropt  in  the  very  bloom  of 
life  by  a  barbarous  hand;  with  relations  and  acquaintances  pouring  out 
sorrow  for  murdered  neighbors  and  friends,  present  a  varied  scene  of 
mingled  distress. 

"When,  for  some  time,  after  striking  at  Bedford,  the  Indians  appeared 
quiet,  nor  struck  any  other  part  of  our  frontiers,  it  became  the  prevailing 
opinion,  that  our  forts  and  communication,  were  so  peculiarly  the  object 
of  their  attention,  that,  till  at  least  after  harvest,  there  was  little  prospect 
of  danger  over  the  hills,  and  to  dissent  from  the  generally  received  senti- 
ment was  political  heresy,  and  attributed  to  timidity  rather  than  judg- 
ment, till  too  early  conviction  has  decided  the  point  in  the  following 

"On  Sunday  morning,  the  loth  inst.,  about  nine  or  ten  o'clock,  at  the 
house  of  one  William  White,  on  Juniata,  between  thirty  and  forty  miles 
hence,  there  being  in  said  house  four  men  and  a  lad,  the  Indians  came 
rushing  upon  them,  and  shot  White  at  the  door,  just  stepping  out  to  see 
what  the  noise  meant.  Our  people  then  pulled  in  White  and  shut  the 
door;  but  observing  through  a  window  the  Indians  setting  fire  to  the 
house,  they  attempted  to  force  their  way  out  at  the  door;  but  the  first 
that  stept  out  being  shot  down,  they  drew  him  in  and  again  shut  the  door ; 
after  which  one  attempting  an  escape  out  of  the  window  on  the  loft, 
was  shot  through  the  head  and  the  lad  wounded  in  the  arm.  The  only 
one  now  remaining,  William  Riddle,  broke  a  hole  through  the  roof  of  the 
house,  and  an  Indian  who  saw  him  looking  out,  alleged  he  was  about  to 
fire  on  him,  withdrew,  which  afforded  Riddle  an  opportunity  to  make  his 
escape.  The  house,  with  the  other  four  in  it,  was  burned  down,  as  one 
McMachen  informs,  who  was  coming  to  it,  not  suspecting  Indians,  and 
was  then  fired  at  and  shot  through  the  shoulder,  but  made  his  escape. 

"The  same  day,  about  dinner  time,  at  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from  said 
White's,  at  the  house  of  Robert  Campbell,  six  men  being  in  the  house, 
as  they  were  dining,  three  Indians  rushed  in  at  the  door,  and  after  firing 
among  them  and  wounding  some,  they  tomahawked  in  an  instant  one  of 
the  men  ;  whereupon  one  George  Dodds,  one  of  the  company,  sprang  back 
into  the  room,  took  down  a  rifle,  shot  an  Indian  through  the  body,  who 
was  just  presenting  his  piece  to  shoot  him.  The  Indian  being  mortally 
wounded,  staggered,  and  letting  his  gun  fall,  was  carried  off  by  three 
more.  Dodds,  with  one  or  two  more,  getting  upon  the  loft,  broke  the 
'roof  in  order  to  escape,  and  looking  out  saw  one  of  the  company,  Stephen 
Jeffries,  running,  but  very  slowly,  by  reason  of  a  wound  in  the  breast, 
and  an  Indian  pursuing;    and  it  is  thought  he  could  not  escape,  nor  have 


we  heard  of  him  since,  so  that  it  is  past  dispute,  he  also  is  murdered.  The 
lust  that  attempted  getting  out  of  the  loft  was  fired  at  and  drew  back; 
another  attempting  was  shot  dead;  and  of  the  six,  Dodds,  the  only  one, 
made  his  escape.  The  same  day  about  dusk,  about  six  or  seven  miles  up 
Tuscarora,  and  about  twenty-eight  or  thirty  miles  hence,  they  murdered 
one  William  Anderson,*  together  with  a  boy  and  girl  all  in  one  house. 
At  White's  were  seen  at  least  five,  some  say  eight  or  ten,  Indians,  and  at 
Campbell's  about  the  same  number.  On  Monday,  the  nth,  a  party  of 
about  twenty-four  went  over  from  the  upper  part  of  Shearman's  Valley, 
to  see  how  matters  were.  Another  party  of  twelve  or  thirteen  went  over 
from  the  upper  part  of  said  valley ;  and  Col.  John  Armstrong,  with 
Thomas  Wilson,  Esq.,  and  a  party  of  between  thirty  and  forty  from  this 
town,  to  reconnoitre  and  assist  in  bringing  in  the  dead. 

"Of  the  first  and  third  parties  we  have  heard  nothing  yet;  but  of  the 
party  of  twelve,  six  are  come  in,  and  inform  that  they  passed  through  the 
several  places  in  Tuscarora,  and  saw  the  houses  in  flames,  or  burnt  en- 
tirely down.  That  the  grain  that  had  been  reaped  the  Indians  burnt  in 
shocks  and  had  set  the  fences  on  fire  where  the  grain  was  unreaped ;  that 
the  hogs  had  fallen  upon  and  mangled  several  of  the  dead  bodies ;  that 
the  said  company  of  twelve,  suspecting  danger,  durst  not  stay  to  bury  the 
dead ;  that  after  they  had  returned  over  the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  about 
one  or  two  miles  on  this  side  of  it,  and  about  eighteen  or  twenty  from 
hence,  they  were  fired  on  by  a  large  party  of  Indians,  supposed  about 
thirty,  and  were  obliged  to  fly;  that  two,  viz:  William  Robinson  and  John 
Graham,  are  certainly  killed,  and  four  more  are  missing,  who  it  is  thought, 
have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy,  as  they  appeared  slow  in  flight, 
most  probably  wounded,  and  the  savages  pursued  with  violence.  What 
farther  mischief  has  been  done  we  have  not  heard,  but  expect  every  day 
and  hour,  some  more  messages  of  melancholy  news. 

"In  hearing  of  the  above  defeat,  we  sent  out  another  party  of  thirty  or 
upwards,  commanded  by  our  high  sheriff,  Mr.  Dunning,  and  Mr.  William 
Lyon,  to  go  in  quest  of  the  enemy,  or  fall  in  with  and  reinforce  our  other 
parties.  There  are  also  a  number  gone  out  from  about  three  miles  below  this, 
so  that  we  now  have  over  the  hills  upwards  of  eighty  or  ninety  volunteers 
scouring  the  woods.  The  inhabitants  of  Shearman's  Valley,  Tuscarora, 
&c,  are  all  come  over,  and  the  people  of  this  valley,  near  the  mountain, 
are  beginning  to  move  in,  so  that  in  a  few  days  there  will  be  scarcely  a 
house  inhabited  north  of  Carlisle.  Many  of  our  people  are  greatly  dis- 
tressed, through  want  of  arms  and  ammunition;  and  numbers  of  those 
beat  off  their  places  have  hardly  money  enough  to  purchase  a  pound  of 

"Our  women  and  children,  I  suppose  must  move  downwards,  if  the 
enemy  proceed.  To-day  a  British  vengeance  begins  to  rise  in  the  breasts 
of  our  men.  One  of  them  that  fell  from  among  the  twelve,  as  he  was 
just  expiring,  said  to  one  of  his  fellows:  'Here,  take  my  gun  and  kill  the 
first  Indian  you  see,  and  all  shall  be  well.'  " 

The  following  is  an  extract  from  a  letter  dated  the  next  day, 
July  13,  1763,  to  the  same  paper,  and  continuing  the  report  of  the 
relief  forces  sent  north  of  the  Kittatinnies : 

"Last  night  Colonel  Armstrong  returned.  He  left  the  party,  who  pur- 
sued further  and  found  several  dead,  whom  they  buried  in  the  best  man- 
ner they  could,  and  are  now  all  returned  in.  From  what  appears  the  In- 
dians are  traveling   from  one  place  to  another,  along  the  valley,  burning 

*William  Anderson  was  killed  without  warning,  while  reading  the  Bible. 


the  farms,  and  destroying  all  the  people  they  meet  with.  This  day  gives 
an  account  of  six  more  being  killed  in  the  valley,  so  that  since  last  Sunday 
morning,  to  this  day,  twelve  o'clock,  we  have  a  pretty  authentic  account 
of  the  number  slain,  being  twenty-five,  and  four  or  five  wounded.  The 
Colonel,  Mr.  Wilson  and  Mr.  Alricks  are  now  on  the  parade,  endeavoring 
to  raise  another  party,  to  go  out  and  succor  the  sheriff  and  his  party  con- 
sisting of  fifty  men,  which  marched  yesterday,  and  I  hope  they  will  be 
able  to  send  off  immediately  twenty  good  men.  The  people  here,  I  assure 
you,  want  nothing  but  a  good  leader  and  a  little  encouragement,  to  make 
a  very  good  defense." 

The  result  of  these  marauding  expeditions  is  best  summed  up 
by  the  Pennsylvania  Gazette  of  July  28,  1763,  in  which  is  the  fol- 
lowing statement : 

"Our  advices  from  Carlisle  are  that  the  party  under  the  sheriff,  Mr. 
Dunning,  mentioned  in  our  last,  fell  in  with  the  enemy,  at  the  house  of 
one  Alexander  Logan,  in  Shearman's  Valley,  supposed  to  be  about  fifteen, 
or  upwards,  who  had  murdered  the  said  Logan,  his  son,  and  another  man 
about  two  miles  from  said  house,  and  mortally  wounded  a  fourth,  who  is 
since  dead;  and  that  at  the  time  of  their  being  discovered  they  were 
rifling  the  house  and  shooting  down  the  cattle,  and  it  is  thought,  about  to 
return  home  with  the  spoil  they  had  got.  That  our  men,  on  seeing  them, 
immediately  spread  themselves  from  right  to  left,  with  a  design  to  sur- 
round them,  and  engaged  the  savages  with  great  courage,  but  from  their 
eagerness  rather  too  soon,  as  some  of  the  party  had  not  got  up  when  the 
skirmish  began;  that  the  enemy  returned  our  first  fire  very  briskly;  but 
our  people,  regardless  of  that,  rushed  upon  them,  when  they  fled,  and  were 
pursued  a  considerable  way,  till  thickets  secured  their  escape,  four  or  five 
of  them  it  was  thought  being  mortally  wounded ;  that  our  parties  had 
brought  in  with  them  what  cattle  they  could  collect,  but  that  great  numbers 
were  killed  by  the  Indians,  and  many  of  the  horses  that  were  in  the  val- 
leys carried  off;  that  since  the  10th  inst.  there  was  an  account  of  fifty- 
four  persons  being  killed  by  the  enemy. 

"That  the  Indians  had  set  fire  to  houses,  barns,  corn,  wheat  and  rye, 
hay ;  in  short,  to  everything  combustible ;  so  that  the  whole  country 
seemed  to  be  in  one  general  blaze ;  that  the  miseries  and  distresses  of 
the  poor  people  were  really  shocking  to  humanity,  and  beyond  the  power 
of  language  to  describe;  that  Carlisle  was  become  the  barrier,  not  a  single 
inhabitant  being  beyond  it ;  that  every  stable  and  hovel  in  the  town  was 
crowded  with  miserable  refugees,  who  were  reduced  to  a  state  of  beggary 
and  despair;  their  houses,  cattle  and  harvest  destroyed;  and  from  a 
plentiful,  independent  people,  they  were  become  real  objects  of  charity 
and  comiseration ;  that  it  was  most  dismal  to  see  the  streets  filled  with 
people,  in  whose  countenances  must  be  discovered  a  mixture  of  grief, 
madness  and  despair;  and  to  hear,  now  and  then,  the  sighs  and  groans 
of  men;  the  disconsolate  lamentations  of  women,  and  the  screams  of 
children,  who  had  lost  their  nearest  and  dearest  relatives ;  and  that  on 
both  sides  of  the  Susquehanna,  for  some  miles,  the  woods  were  filled 
with  poor  families,  and  their  cattle,  who  made  fires,  and  lived  like  sav- 
ages, exposed  to  the  inclemencies  of  the  weather." 

From  a  letter  dated  July  30,  1763,  at  Carlisle,  the  following 
account  is  taken.  It  relates  of  the  efforts  made  to  save  a  part  of 
the  harvests : 

"On  the  25th,  a  considerable  number  of  the  inhabitants  of  Shearman's 
Valley   went   over,   with   a   party   of   soldiers   to   guard   them,    to   attempt 


saving  as  much  of  their  grain  as  might  be  standing,  and  it  is  hoped  a 
considerable  quantity  will  yet  be  preserved.  A  party  of  volunteers,  be- 
tween twenty  and  thirty,  went  to  the  farther  side  of  the  valley,  next  to 
the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  to  see  what  appearance  there  might  be  of  the 
Indians,  as  it  was  thought  they  would  most  probably  be  there,  if  any- 
where in  the  settlement ;  to  search  for,  and  bury  the  dead  at  Buffalo 
Creek,  and  to  assist  the  inhabitants  that  lived  along,  or  near  the  foot  of 
the  mountain,  in  bringing  off  what  they  could,  which  services  they  accord- 
ingly performed,  burying  the  remains  of  three  persons;  but  saw  no  marks 
of  Indians  having  lately  been  there,  excepting  one  track,  supposed  about 
two  or  three  days  old,  near  the  narrows  of  Buffalo  Creek  hill;  and  heard 
some  hallooing  and  firing  of  a  gun  at  another  place." 

The  murders  at  the  home  of  William  White,  previously  men- 
tioned in  this  chapter,  were  in  harvest  time  and  the  reapers,  as  the 
harvest  hands  were  then  termed,  were  all  in  the  house,  it  being 
the  Sabbath  day,  when  the  redskins  surprised  them.  Robert  Rob- 
inson's account  of  many  of  these  murders  is  almost  parallel  with 
that  of  the  accounts  printed  on  the  foregoing  pages,  but  he  goes 
farther.  He  tells  of  receiving  the  news  at  Edward  Elliott's,  where 
he  and  others  were  harvesting;  how  John  Graham,  John  Christy 
and  James  Christy  heard  the  firing  of  guns  at  the  William  Ander- 
son home  early  in  the  evening,  and  of  their  investigation  and  carry- 
ing the  news  to  Elliott's.    His  account  further  says : 

"Graham  and  the  Christys  came  about  midnight.  We,  hearing  the  In- 
dians had  got  so  far  up  the  Tuscarora  Valley,  and  knowing  Collins'  famliy 
and  James  Scott's  were  there  about  harvest,  twelve  of  us  concluded  to  go 
over  Bigham's  Gap  (the  entrance  to  Liberty  Valley)  and  give  those 
word  that  were  there ;  when  we  came  to  Collins'  we  saw  that  the  Indians 
had  been  there,  had  broke  a  wheel,  emptied  a  bed  and  taken  flour,  of 
which  they  made  some  water  gruel ;  we  counted  thirteen  spoons  made  of 
bark ;  we  followed  the  tracks  made  down  to  James  Scott's,  where  we 
found  the  Indians  had  killed  some  fowls;  we  pursued  on  to  Graham's; 
there  the  house  was  on  fire  and  burned  down  to  the  joists.  We  divided 
our  men  into  two  parties,  six  in  each;  my  brother  with  his  party  came  in 
behind  the  barn,  and  myself  with  the  other  party  came  down  through  an 
oats  field  ;  I  was  to  shoot  first ;  the  Indians  had  hung  a  coat  upon  a  post 
on  the  other  side  of  the  fire  from  us ;  I  looked  at  it  and  saw  it  immovable, 
and  therefore  walked  down  to  it  and  found  that  the  Indians  had  just  left 
it ;  they  had  killed  four  hogs  and  had  eaten  at  pleasure.  Our  company 
took  their  track,  and  found  that  two  companies  had  met  at  Graham's  and 
had  gone  over  the  Tuscarora  Mountain.  We  took  the  run  gap,  the  two 
roads  meeting  at  Nicholsons;  they  were  there  first,  heard  us  coming  and 
lay  in  ambush  for  us;  they  had  first  fire;  being  twenty-five  in  number 
and  only  twelve  of  us — they  killed  five  and  wounded  myself.  They  then 
went  to  Alexander  Logan's,  where  they  emptied  some  beds  and  passed  on 
to  George   McCord's. 

"The  names  of  the  twelve  were  William  Robison,  who  acted  as  cap- 
tain; Robert  Robison,  the  relator  of  this  narrative;  Thomas  Robison, 
being  three  brothers ;  John  Graham,  Charles  Elliott,  William  Christy, 
James  Christy,  David  Miller,  John  Elliott,  Edward  McConnel,  William 
McAlister,  and  John  Nicholas.  The  persons  killed  were  William  Robi- 
son, who  was  shot  in  the  belly  with  buckshot  and  got  about  half  a  mile 
from  the  ground;    John   Elliott,  then  a  boy  about  seventeen  years  of  age, 


having  emptied  his  gun,  was  pursued  by  an  Indian  with  his  tomahawk, 
who  was  within  a  few  perches  of  him  when  Elliott  had  poured  some 
powder  into  his  gun  by  random,  out  of  his  powder  horn,  and  having  a 
bullet  in  his  mouth,  put  it  in  the  muzzle,  but  had  no  time  to  ram  it  down; 
he  turned  and  fired  at  his  pursuer,  who  clapped  his  hand  on  his  stomach 
and  cried  'och,'  then  turned  and  fled.  Elliott  had  run  a  few  perches  fur- 
ther, when  he  overtook  William  Robison,  weltering  in  his  blood,  in  his 
last  agonies;  he  requested  Elliott  to  carry  him  off,  who  excused  himself 
by  telling  of  his  inability  to  do  so,  and  also  of  the  danger  they  were  in  ; 
he  said  he  knew  it,  but  desired  him  to  take  his  gun  with  him,  and,  peace 
or  war,  if  ever  he  had  an  opportunity  of  killing  an  Indian,  to  shoot  him 
for  his  sake.  Elliott  brought  away  the  gun  and  Robison  was  not  found 
by  the  Indians. 

"Thomas  Robison  stood  on  the  ground  until  the  whole  of  his  people 
were  fled,  nor  did  the  Indians  offer  to  pursue,  until  the  last  man  left  the 
field;  Thomas  having  fired  and  charged  a  second  time,  the  Indians  were 
prepared  for  him,  and  when  he  took  aim  past  the  tree,  a  number  fired  at 
him  at  the  same  time ;  one  of  his  arms  was  broken  ;  he  took  his  gun  in 
the  other  and  fled;  going  up  a  hill  he  came  to  a  high  log,  and  clapped 
his  hand,  in  which  was  his  gun,  on  the  log  to  assist  in  leaping  over  it; 
while  in  the  attitude  of  stooping  a  bullet  entered  his  side,  going  in  a  tri- 
angular course  through  his  body;  he  sunk  down  across  the  log;  the  In- 
dians sunk  the  cock  of  his  gun  into  his  brains  and  mangled  him  very 
much.  John  Graham  was  seen  by  David  Miller  sitting  on  a  log,  not  far 
from  the  place  of  attack,  with  his  hands  on  his  face,  and  blood  running 
through  his  fingers.  Charles  Elliott  and  Edward  McConnel  took  a  circle 
round  where  the  Indians  were  laying,  and  made  the  best  of  their  way  to 
Buffalo  Creek;  but  they  were  pursued  by  the  Indians;  and  where  they 
crossed  the  creek  there  was  a  high  bank,  and  as  they  were  endeavoring 
to  ascend  the  bank,  they  were  both  shot  and  fell  back  into  the  water. 

"Thus  ended  the  unfortunate  affair ;  but  at  the  same  time  it  appears  as 
if  the  hand  of  Providence  had  been  in  the  whole  transaction,  for  there  is 
every  reason  to  believe  that  spies  had  been  viewing  the  place  the  night 
before,  and  the  Indians  were  within  three  quarters  of  a  mile  from  the 
place  from  which  the  men  had  started,  when  there  would  have  been  from 
twenty  to  thirty  men  perhaps  in  the  field  reaping,  and  all  the  guns  that 
could  be  depended  upon  were  in  this  small  company,  except  one,  so  that 
they  might  have  become  an  easy  prey,  and  instead  of  those  five  brave  men 
who  lost  their  lives  three  times  that  number  might  have  done  so. 

"A  party  of  forty  men  came  from  Carlisle  to  bury  the  dead  at  Juniata  ; 
when  they  saw  the  dead  at  Buffalo  Creek  they  returned  home.  Then  a 
party  of  men  came  with  Captain  Dunning;  but  before  they  came  to  Alex- 
ander Logan's  his  son  John,  Charles  Coyle,  William  Hamilton,  with 
Bartholomew  Davis,  followed  the  Indians  to  George  McCord's,  where  they 
were  in  the  barn ;  Logan  and  those  with  him  were  all  killed,  except  Davis, 
who  made  his  escape  and  joined  Captain  Dunning.  The  Indians  then  re- 
turned to  Logan's  house  again,  when  Captain  Dunning  and  his  party  came 
on  them,  and  they  fired  some  time  at  each  other;  Dunning  had  one  man 

"The  relief  parties  took  back  with  them  what  cattle  they  could  secure, 
but  the  Indians  had  killed  a  large  number  and  had  taken  all  the  horses 
upon  which  they  could  lay  hands." 

By  the  latter  part  of  July,  1763,  there  were  1,384  refugees  from 
'  north  of  the  Kittatinny   Mountain   domiciled  in  barns,   sheds  or 
other  temporary  place  of  refuge  at  Shippenshurg,  having  fled  from 
their  homes. 


The  victory  of  Colonel  Henry  Bouquet  over  the  Indians  in  west- 
ern Pennsylavnia,  in  1764,  gave  the  settlers  new  courage  and  they 
gradually  returned  to  Sherman's  Valley  and  the  territory  east  of 
the  Juniata  River,  and  by  1767  many  of  the  best  locations  in  the 
county  had  been  warranted. 

*There  is  record  of  the  heirs  of  Robert  Campbell,  mentioned  in 
this  chapter  as  being  cruelly  murdered  by  the  Indians,  warranting 
lands  in  Tuscarora  Township  in  1767,  four  years  after  his  death. 

f  The  Alexander  Logan,  whose  death  at  the  hands  of  the  Indians 
is  here  described,  was  the  owner  of  lands  near  Kistler,  later  long 
owned  by  the  McMillens. 

County  Citizens  Recipients  of  Charity. 

When  Perry  Countains  have  been  contributing  to  charity — to 
flood  and  famine  sufferers  everywhere,  to  India,  France,  Belgium, 
Armenia,  the  Harrisburg  and  other  hospitals — little  did  many  think- 
that  in  its  provincial  days,  before  it  arose  to  the  dignity  of  a  "little 
commonwealth,"  its  people  were  the  objects  of  charity,  owing  to 
their  being  driven  out  by  the  Indians  from  their  homes.  Such, 
however,  was  the  case.  The  refugees,  who  were  in  Carlisle,  were 
relieved  to  some  extent  in  their  great  distress  by  the  generosity  of 
the  Episcopal  churches  of  Philadelphia.  On  July  26,  1763,  Rich- 
ard Peters,  the  rector  of  Christ  church  and  St.  Peters,  in  Phila- 
delphia (the  same  man  who  was  secretary  of  the  province),  rep- 
resented to  the  vestry  "that  the  back  inhabitants  of  this  province 
are  reduced  to  great  distress  and  necessity,  by  the  present  inva- 
sion" and  proposed  that  some  method  be  formed  for  collecting 
charily  for  their  relief.  A  preamble  was  drawn  up  and  a  sub- 
scription paper  started.  At  the  next  meeting  the  wardens  reported 
that  they  had  collected  £662,  3s.  Of  course  that  amount  of  money 
needed  systematic  distribution  and  the  Philadelphia  congregations 
corresponded  with  persons  in  Cumberland  to  ascertain  the  extent 
(jf  the  distress.  William  Thomson,  an  itinerant  missionary  for 
the  counties  of  York  and  Cumberland,  and  Francis  West  and 
Thomas  Donellon,  wardens  of  the  Episcopal  church  at  Carlisle, 
sent  a  reply  in  which,  among  other  statements,  is  this :  "We  have 
taken  pains  to  get  the  number  of  the  distressed,  and  upon  strict 
inquiry,  we  find  seven  hundred  and  fifty  families  have  abandoned 
their  plantations,  the  greatest  number  of  which  have  lost  their  crops, 
some  their  stock  and  furniture,  and  besides,  we  are  informed  that 
there  are  about  two  hundred  women  and  children  coming  down 
from  Fort  Pitt.  We  also  find  that  sums  of  money  lately  sent  up 
are  almost  expended,  and  that  each  family  has  not  received  twenty 

*See  chapter  on  Tuscarora  Township. 

fSee  chapter  on  Madison  Township  and  011  "Frontier  Forts.' 


shillings  upon  an  average."  The  letter  also  tells  of  the  great  dis- 
tress and  says  that  smallpox  and  flux  are  raging  among  the  home- 
less. Upwards  of  two  hundred  of  these  families  were  in  Carlisle 
and  the  remainder  in  Shippenshurg,  Littlestown,  York  and  other 
places.  However,  it  must  be  remembered  that  they  were  not  all 
from  Perry  County  territory,  but  from  what  is  now  Fulton, 
Franklin,  Bedford  and  farther  west,  as  well  as  from  the  outlying 
districts  of  Cumberland  County  itself. 

In  recounting  the  result  of  this  report  and  appeal  Rev.  Dorr,  in 
his  Historical  Account  of  Christ  and  St.  Peters'  Church,  says: 

"In  consequence  of  this  information,  a  large  supply  of  flour,  rice,  medi- 
cine, and  other  necessaries,  were  immediately  forwarded  for  the  relief  of 
the  sufferers.  And  to  enable  those,  who  chose  to  return  to  their  planta- 
tions, to  defend  themselves  against  future  attacks  of  the  Indians,  the 
vestry  of  Christ  church  and  St.  Peters  were  of  opinion  that  the  refugees 
should  be  furnished  with  two  chests  of  arms,  and  half  a  barrel  of  powder, 
four  hundred  pounds  of  lead,  two  hundred  of  swan  shot,  and  one  thou- 
sand flints.  These  were  accordingly  sent  with  instructions  to  sell  them  to 
prudent  and  good  people  as  are  in  want  of  them,  and  will  use  them  for 
their  defense,  for  the  prices  charged  in  the  invoice." 

Pioneer  Runners. 

During  these  trying  periods  the  pioneers  employed  men  who 
were  dispatched  as  runners  to  give  settlers  notice  of  impending 
danger.  They  were  accustomed  to  hunting,  immune  to  hardships 
and  with  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  country.  There  were  thirty 
in  the  territory  west  of  the  Susquehanna  and  south  of  the  Juniata 
to  the  Allegheny  Mountains.  They  were  a  lot  of  intrepid,  resolute 
fellows,  on  the  order  of  our  present  admirable  troops  of  State 
Constabulary,  and  were  in  the  command  of  a  man  who  had  been  a 
captive  of  the  Indians  for  several  years  and  knew  their  traits,  but 
whose  name  unfortunately  fails  to  be  recorded.  According  to 
Votes  of  the  Assembly,  Sept.  17,  1763,  the  Colonial  legislators 
were  appealed  to  for  assistance  in  retaining  this  body  of  scouts  in 

The  terror  of  the  citizens  subsided  but  little  until  Colonel  Bou- 
quet conquered  the  Indians  in  1764  and  compelled  them  to  solicit 
peace.  A  condition  of  the  peace  terms  was  that  the  Indians  were 
to  give  up  all  the  women  and  children  which  they  held  in  captivity. 
Among  them  were  many  who  had  been  seized  as  mere  children  and 
had  grown  up  among  the  savages,  learning  their  language  and  for- 
getting their  own.  Their  affections  were  even  with  the  savages. 
Some  mothers  found  lost  children  but  others  were  unable  to  iden- 
tify theirs.  The  separation  between  the  Indians  and  the  captives 
was  heart-rending,  the  red  men  shedding  many  tears  and  the  cap- 
tives leaving  reluctantly.  Many  of  these  captives  later  voluntarily 
rejoined  the  Indians.     Some  had  married  Indians,  but  from  choice, 


records  tell  us.  A  girl  who  had  been  captured  at  the  age  of  four- 
teen and  had  married  an  Indian  and  was  the  mother  of  several 
children,  said:  "Can  I  enter  my  parents'  dwelling?  Will  they  be 
kind  to  my  children  ?  Will  my  old  companions  associate  with  the 
wife  of  an  Indian  chief?  Will  I  desert  my  husband,  who  has  been 
kind?"     During  the  night  she  fled  to  her  husband  and  children. 

A  great  many  of  these  prisoners  were  brought  to  Carlisle,  among 
them  the  captives  from  Perry  County.  Colonel  Bouquet  advertised 
for  those  who  had  lost  children  to  come  and  look  for  them. 
Among  those  who  came  was  an  old  lady  who  had  lost  a  child  many 
years  before,  but  she  was  unable  to  identify  her.  With  a  break- 
ing heart  the  old  lady  told  Colonel  Bouquet  her  sad  story,  relating 
how  she  used  to  sing  to  the  little  one  a  hymn  of  which  the  child 
was  so  fond.  The  colonel  requested  her  to  sing  it  then,  in  the 
presence  of  the  captives,  and  she  did,  the  words  being: 

'Alone,  yet  not  alone  am  I, 

Though  in  this  solitude  so  drear ; 
I  feel  my  Saviour  always  nigh, 

He  comes  my  every  hour  to  cheer." 

As  the  sweet  voice  of  the  mother  so  beautifully  sang  the  words, 
from  among  the  captives  sprang  a  young  girl  and  rushed  into  her 
mother's  arms. 

During  the  time  of  the  French  and  Indian  War,  1756-61,  the 
world  was  largely  at  war.  The  ships  of  France  and  England  even 
carried  it  to  the  great  high  seas. 

Capture;  and  Release  of  Frederick  Stump. 

In  January.  1768,  a  party  of  Indians  visited  a  pioneer,  Frederick 
Stump,  later  known  as  the  "Indian  killer,"  at  his  cabin  on  Middle 
Creek  (now  in  Snyder  County),  and  differences  arising,  he 
and  his  employe,  named  Ironcutter,  killed  the  Indians  and  also 
those  at  a  cabin  four  miles  distant,  so  that  the  news  would  not 
reach  the  Indian  settlements.  The  bodies  were  thrown  into  the 
creek  and  floated  down  it  to  the  Susquehanna;  one  was  found 
along  the  shore  near  what  is  now  New  Cumberland,  Pa.,  then 
below  Harris'  Ferry.  It  was  interred  by  James  Galbraith  and 
Jonathon  Hoge,  who  reported  it  to  John  Penn,  then  provincial 
governor.  One  William  Blythe  traveled  to  Philadelphia  and  under 
oath  stated  that  he  had  seen  Stump  at  the  home  of  George  Gabriel 
and  heard  his  story,  in  which  he  admitted  the  murders. 

Penn  issued  a  proclamation  offering  a  reward  for  Stump  and 
Ironcutter,  promising  to  punish  them  with  death  and  notifying  the 
Indians  of  what  he  had  done.  Sir  William  Johnson  sent  an  ur- 
gent message  to  the  Indians,  saying,  "If  they  know  any  of  the 
relatives  of  these  persons  murdered  at  Middle  Creek,  to  send  them 


to  him,  that  he  might  wipe  the  tears  from  their  eyes,  comfort  their 
afflicted  hearts  and  satisfy  them  on  account  of  their  grievances." 
As  soon  as  Capt.  William  Patterson,  formerly  of  Lancaster 
County,  but  then  residing  on  the  Juniata,  heard  of  the  murders  he- 
went,  without  waiting  orders  of  the  authorities,  with  a  party  of 
nineteen  men,  and  arrested  Stump  and  Ironcutter,  and  delivered 
them  to  John  Holmes,  the  sheriff,  at  Carlisle.  Aware  that  the 
Indians  would  be  exasperated  at  hearing  of  the  murders  he  sent  a 
messenger  to  the  west  branch  country  to  them,  telling  of  the  arrest. 
As  the  messages  and  replies  are  of  much  historical  interest  they 
are  reproduced  in  full.     First,  his  official  report: 

Carlisle,  January  23,  1768. 

Sir:  The  21st  instant,  I  marched  a  party  of  nineteen  men  to  George 
Gabriel's  house,  at  Penn's  Creek  mouth,  and  made  prisoners  of  Frederick 
Stump  and  John  Ironcutter,  who  were  suspected  to  having  murdered  ten 
of  our  friend  Indians  near  Augusta;  and  I  have  this  day  delivered  them 
to  Mr.  Holmes  at  Carlisle  jail. 

Yesterday  I  sent  a  person  to  the  Great  Island,  that  understood  the  In- 
dian language,  with  a  talk;    a  copy  of  which  is  enclosed. 

Myself  and  party  were  exposed  to  great  danger,  by  the  desperate  re- 
sistance made  by  Stump  and  his  friends,  who  sided  with  him.  The  steps 
I  have  taken,  I  flatter  myself,  will  not  be  disapproved  of  by  the  gentle- 
men in  the  government;  my  sole  view  being  directed  to  the  service  of 
the  frontiers,  before  I  heard  his  honor  the  governor's  orders.  The  mes- 
sage I  sent  to  the  Indians  I  hope  will  not  be  deemed  assuming  an  author- 
ity of  my  own,  as  you  are  very  sensible  I  am  no  stranger  to  the  Indians, 
or  their  customs.     I  am,  with  respect, 

Your  most  obedient  humble  servant, 

W.  Patterson. 

The  message  to  the  Six  Nations,  in  the  west  branch  country : 

Juniata,  January  22,  1768. 

Brothers  of  the  Six  Nations,  Delawares,  and  other  inhabitants  of  the 
West  Branch  of  Susquehanna,  hear  what  I  have  to  say  to  you : 

With  a  heart  swelled  with  grief,  I  have  to  inform  you  that  Frederick 
Stump  and  John  Ironcutter  hath,  unadvisedly,  murdered  ten  of  our  friend 
Indians  near  Fort  Augusta.  The  inhabitants  of  the  province  of  Pennsyl- 
vania do  disapprove  of  the  said  Stump  and  Ironcutter's  conduct;  and  as 
proof  thereof,  I  have  taken  them  prisoners,  and  will  deliver  them  into  the 
custody  of  officers,  that  will  keep  them  ironed  in  prison  for  trial ;  and  I 
make  no  doubt,  as  many  of  them  as  are  guilty,  will  be  condemned,  and  die 
for  the  offence. 

Brothers,  I  being  truly  sensible  of  the  injury  done  you,  I  only  add  these 
few  words,  with  my  heart's  wish,  that  you  may  not  rashly  let  go  the  fast 
hold  of  our  chain  of  friendship,  for  the  ill-conduct  of  one  of  our  bad 
men.  Believe  me,  brothers,  we  Englishmen,  continue  the  same  love  for 
you  that  hath  usually  subsisted  between  our  grandfathers,  and  I  desire 
you  to  call  at  Fort  Augusta,  to  trade  with  our  people,  for  the  necessaries 
you  stand  in  need  of.  I  pledge  you  my  word,  that  no  white  man  there 
shall  molest  any  of  you,  while  you  behave  as  friends.  I  shall  not  rest  by 
night  nor  day  until  I  receive  your  answer. 

Your  friend  and  brother, 

W.  Patterson. 


The  following  answer  to  the  above  was  received  from  the  In- 
dians : 

February  nth,  1768. 

Loving  Brother:  I  received  your  speech  by  Gertham  Hicks,  and  have 
sent  one  of  my  relatives  with  a  string  of  wampum,  and  the  following 
answer : 

Loving  Brother:  I  am  glad  to  hear  from  you.  I  understand  that  you 
are  very  much  grieved,  and  that  the  tears  run  from  your  eyes.  With  both 
my  hands  I  now  wipe  away  those  tears ;  and  as  I  don't  doubt  but  your 
heart  is  disturbed,  I  remove  all  the  sorrow  from  it,  and  make  it  easy,  as 
it  was  before.  I  will  now  sit  down  and  smoke  my  pipe.  I  have  taken 
fast  hold  of  the  chain  of  friendship;  and  when  I  give  it  a  pull,  if  I  find 
my  brothers,  the  English,  have  let  it  go,  it  will  then  be  time  for  me  to  let 
go  too,  and  take  care  of  my  family.  There  are  four  of  my  relatives 
murdered  by  Stump ;  and  all  I  desire  is,  that  he  may  suffer  for  his  wicked 
action ;  I  shall  then  think  that  people  have  the  same  goodness  in  their 
hearts  as  formerly,  and  intend  to  keep  it  there.  As  it  was  the  evil  spirit 
that  caused  Stump  to  commit  this  bad  action,  I  blame  none  of  my  brothers, 
the  English,  but  him. 

I  desire  that  the  people  of  Juniata  may  sit  still  in  their  places,  and  not 
put  themselves  to  any  hardships,  by  leaving  their  habitations;  whenever 
danger  is  coming,  they  shall  know  it  before  it  comes  to  them. 

I  am,  your  loving  brother, 

Shawana  Ben. 

To  Capt.  William  Patterson.* 

The  governor's  proclamation  offered  £200  for  Stump's  appre- 
hension, but  not  knowing  of  his  arrest,  delayed  the  publication  for 
a  short  period,  lest  news  of  it  should  reach  him,  and  in  order  to 
accomplish  his  arrest  in  a  more  secretive  manner. 

The  council  of  the  province  advised  Governor  Penn  to  write  to 
General  Gage  and  Sir  William  Johnson,  informing  them  of  the 
murder  and  of  the  steps  he  was  taking,  and  to  ask  Sir  William  to 
communicate  the  same  to  the  Six  Nations,  as  soon  as  possible, 
"in  the  best  and  most  favorable  manner  in  his  power,  so  as  to 
prevent  their  taking  immediate  resentment  for  this  unavoidable 
injury,  committed  on  their  people,  and  to  assure  them  of  the  firm 
and  sincere  purposes  of  this  government  to  give  them  full  satis- 
faction at  all  times  for  all  wrongs  done  to  the  Indians,  and  to  pre- 
serve the  friendship  subsisting  between  us  and  them  inviolable." 

But  before  these  letters  and  the  proclamation  of  Chief  Justice 
Allen  reached  the  magistrates  and  sheriffs,  Stump  and  Ironcutter 
as  previously  stated,  had  been  lodged  in  jail ;  however,  before 
they  were  brought  to  trial  they  were  rescued  from  prison. 

As  white  settlers  had  from  time  to  time  been  scalped  in  Perry 
County  territory  there  was  a  certain  sympathy  went  out  to  Stump 
and  Ironcutter  with  the  result  that  on  January  29,  1768,  a  party 
of  seventy  or  eighty  armed  men,  supposed  to  be  mostly  from 
Sherman's  Valley,  appeared  at  the  Carlisle  jail  and  overpowered 

*Provincial  Records. 



the  sheriff,  John  Holmes,  and  the  jailer  and  released  the  two  pris- 
oners, who  until  that  time  had  been  kept  in  the  dungeon.  A  half 
dozen  prominent  citizens  who  hastily  appeared  to  aid  the  sheriff 
included  Ephraim  Blaine,  who  was  formerly  a  Toboyne  Township 
citizen  and  of  whose  later  prominence  this  book  elsewhere  goes 
into  detail. 

While  this  murder  and  the  subsequent  rescue  did  not  happen  on 
Perry  County  soil,  yet  they  are  dwelt  on  at  some  length  here  owing 
to  the  fact  that  the  greater  part  of  the  rescuers  were  supposed  to 
be  from  Sherman's  Valley.  Owing  to  possible  complications  with 
the  Indians  the  murders  by  Stump  and  Ironcutter  and  their  sub- 
sequent delivery  from  jail  produced  a  great  wave  of  excitement 
in  the  entire  colony.  Governor  John  Penn  cited  the  officers  and 
magistrates  to  appear  before  him,  reprimanding  the  latter  for  their 
conduct  in  advising  the  retention  of  the  prisoners  at  Carlisle  in- 
stead of  delivering  them  to  Philadelphia,  as  required  by  the  war- 
rant. Tradition  implies  that  the  sheriff  and  jailer  were  passive 
actors  in  this  jail  delivery. 

Exploits  of  Captain  Jack. 

There  are  traditionary  tales  connected  with  "Captain  Jack"  and 
his  operations  in  Perry  County,  but  as  county  lines  in  those  days 
were  not  in  existence,  his  exploits  may  properly  belong  to  the  whole 
Juniata  and  Cumberland  Valleys.  He  was  a  white  man.  but  was 
variously  termed  the  "black  hunter,"  the  "black  rifle."  the  "wild 
hunter  of  the  Juniata."  the  "black  hunter  of  the  forest,"  but  prin- 
cipally "Captain  Jack."  His  real  name  was  Patrick  Jack,  in  all 
probability.  He  entered  the  forest  section  of  Pennsylvania,  some- 
where in  the  Juniata  Valley,  with  a  few  companions,  built  a  cabin, 
cleared  a  little  land  and  made  his  living  by  hunting  and  fishing, 
not  having  a  care.  He  was  a  free  and  easy,  happy-go-lucky  type 
of  man  until  one  evening  in  1752,  when  he  returned  from  a  day 
in  the  woods  to  find  his  cabin  burned,  his  wife  and  children  mur- 
dered. From  that  moment  for  over  a  year  he  forsook  civilization, 
lived  in  caves,  protected  the  frontier  settlers  from  the  Indians  and 
seized  every  opportunity  for  revenge  that  presented  itself.  He 
was  the  terror  of  the  Indians  and  the  guardian  angel  of  the  pio- 
neers. On  an  occasion,  near  Juniata — the  name  of  the  Indian 
town  on  Duncan's  Island,  opposite  the  west  end  of  Duncannon — ■ 
about  midnight  on  a  dark  night,  a  family  was  suddenly  awakened 
by  the  report  of  a  gun.  Jumping  from  their  cots  they  saw  an 
Indian  fall  to  rise  no  more.  The  open  door  exposed  to  view  the 
"wild  hunter,"  who  called,  "I  saved  yonr  lives,"  and  vanished  into 
darkness.  He  never  shot  foolishly  and  his  keenness  of  vision  was 
as  unerring  as  his  aim.  He  formed  an  association  to  defend  the 
settlers  against  savage  aggressions.    On  a  given  signal  they  would 


unite.  During  1756  his  exploits  were  often  heard  of  from  the 
Conococheague  in  Franklin  County,  to  the  Juniata  River.  To 
some  he  was  known  as  the  "Half-Indian,"  and  Colonel  Armstrong, 
in  a  letter  to  the  governor,  said :  "The  company  under  the  com- 
mand of  the  Half-Indian,  having  left  the  Great  Cove,  the  Indians 
took  advantage  and  murdered  many."  Through  Colonel  Croghan 
— for  George  Croghan  had  been  made  a  colonel — he  also  proffered 
his  aid  to  Braddock.  "He  will  march  with  his  hunters,"  says  the 
colonel,  adding,  as  a  further  description,  "they  are  dressed  in  hunt- 
ing shirts,  moccasins,  &c,  are  well  armed  and  are  equally  regard- 
less of  heat  and  cold.  They  require  no  shelter  for  the  night — they 
ask  no  pay."  As  Captain  Jack  wanted  to  go  free  of  the  restraint 
of  camp  life  and  army  regulations  General  Braddock  refused  his 
services.  Braddock  was  a  strict  disciplinarian  and  despised  the 
Indian  method  of  fighting.  He  wanted  to  attain  a  signal  victory 
over  the  French  without  using  those  methods  or  the  help  of  others 
who  used  them.  However,  he  had  already  accepted  a  company  of 
Indians  under  Captain  George  Croghan.  He  never  lived  to  dis- 
cover his  error  in  refusing  Captain  Jack's  services  or  the  fact  that 
the  Indian  method  of  fighting  excelled  that  of  marching  in  the 
open,  clad  in  gaudy  uniforms,  with  drums  beating  and  banners 
flying.  There  is  no  doubt  that  among  Captain  Jack's  daring  men 
were  some  whose  homes  were  within  the  confines  of  what  is  now 
Perry  County. 

While  some  historians  give  his  name  to  Jack's  Mountain,  in  the 
Juniata  Valley,  John  Harris  says  the  mountain  was  named  after 
Jack  Armstrong,  who  was  murdered  at  its  base  by  the  Indians. 
The  latter  is  probably  the  truth,  as  Captain  Jack's  activities  were 
principally1  in  the  territory  now  known  as  Perry  and  Franklin 

There  is  evidence  of  Captain  Jack  once  owning  property,  the 
location  being  described  as  "on  back  Crike,  Joning  Matthew 
Arthor's  pleas,  operward  of  ye  sad  Creek,"  in  Antrim  Township, 
later  Franklin  County.  In  1748  this  property  passed  from  John 
Ward  to  Matthew  Arther,  who  owned  the  adjoining  place.  In 
November,  1767,  Arther  sold  it  to  Patrick  Jack,  same  being  re- 
corded in  Book  C,  Volume  1,  at  the  Cumberland  County  court- 

An  early  writer,  in  referring  to  Doubling  Gap,  located  on  the 
Blue  or  Kittatinny  Mountain,  further  clinches  the  fact  that  the 
Sherman's  Valley  was  one  of  the  principal  scenes  of  the  activities 
of  Captain  Jack.  It  follows:  "The  place  for  many  miles  around 
is  invested  with  many  historical  facts  and  legends  connected  with 
the  early  settlements  of  the  country.  It  was  in  the  adjoining  valley 
(Sherman's)  and  on  these  mountains  that  Big  Beaver,  a  chief  of 
the  Shoshones,  with  his  tribe,  in  1752  and  for  years  before  had 


their  hunting  grounds,  having  been  driven  in  1677  from  Caro- 
lina and  Georgia.  This  valley  (Sherman's)  was  the  grave  of  many 
of  his  children  and  the  scene  of  many  a  massacre.  It  was  where 
the  far-famed  and  many-named  Captain  Jack — the  Black  Rifle, 
the  Wild  Hunter,  etc. — entered  the  woods,  built  his  cabin  and 
cleared  a  little  patch  of  land  within  sight  of  a  spring  and  amused 
himself  with  hunting  and  fishing." 

Some  authorities  credit  Captain  Jack's  real  name  as  being  Joseph 
Ager,  or  Aiger,  who  settled  in  Cumberland  County  in  1851,  but 
the  writer  is  inclined,  after  careful  research,  to  believe  that  he 
was  no  other  than  Patrick  Jack.  However,  the  actual  establish- 
ment of  his  real  name  and  his  early  history  must  forever  remain 
an  un fathomed  mystery.  Of  Herculean  proportions  and  of 
swarthy  complexion  he  was  supposed  by  some  to  have  been  a 
half-breed.  Colonel  Armstrong,  in  a  letter  to  the  governor,  terms 
him  "the  Half-Indian."  Others  term  him  a  white  man  with  a 
past.  The  following,  from  Hanna's  "The  Wilderness  Trail,"  is 
self  explanatory:  "Captain  William  Patterson,  who  lived  on  Tus- 
carora  Creek,  was  a  bold,  resourceful,  frontiersman  and  Indian 
fighter,  whose  exploits,  with  those  of  his  father,  furnished  much 
of  the  material  for  the  legendary  history  of  the  fictitious  'Captain 
Jack,'  the  Wild  Hunter  of  the  Juniata."  That  much  of  the  his- 
tory of  Captain  Jack  is  lengendary  is  true,  but  that  he  was  a 
fictitious  character  only  is  disproved  by  the  previous  pages,  the  ex- 
tracts being  from  provincial  history  and  records. 

In  the  possession  of  Miss  Margaret  D.  McClure,  of  Bradford, 
a  daughter  of  William  McClure,  one  of  Perry  County's  noted 
sons,  are  two  old  documents  left  by  her  father,  which  also  show 
that  Captain  Jack  was  very  real.    They  follow : 

The  2nd  Battalion,  Penna.  Regiment,  commanded  by 
Lt.  Colonel  Clayton,  Camp  Fort  Loudon,  August  16,  1764. 
John   Morrison,    Soldier   in    Colonel   Clayton's   Company,   discharged   by 
Dr.  Plunkett's  orders  from  any  furtber  service  in  the  above  Regiment. 
Given  under  my  hand  this  Patrick  Jack, 

day,  16th  August,  1764.  Capt.  Lieut. 

These  are  to  certify: 

That  the  three  Marching  Companies  from  the  Second  Battalion  met  at 
Studler's  Mill  upon  the  15th  of  this  m.  and  proceeded  to  elect  a  Major, 
when  it  appeared  upon  summing  of  the  Poll  that  Capt.  Patrick  Jack  and 
Elias   Davison,   1st   Lieut.,  had   each   of  them  eighty-two  votes. 
August  22,  1776,  By  Theo.  McPherrin, 

Fort  Conococheague.  One  of  the  judges  of  the  election. 

They  throw  further  light  on  the  length  of  his  services,  as  the 
first  shows  service  as  early  as  1764  and  the  last  as  late  as  1776. 


Forts  in  and  Near  the  County. 

The  horrible  atrocities  which  occurred  during  the  summer  and 
fall  of  1755  almost  depopulated  the  lands  which  now  comprise 
Perry  County,  as  well  as  others,  and  the  provincial  authorities  took 
steps  to  allay  fear  and  safeguard  the  pioneers  by  a  line  of  forts 
extending  from  the  Delaware  River  across  the  province  to  the 
Maryland  line  and  at  other  outlying  places.  George  Croghan  was 
commissioned  to  select  the  site  of  three,  in  Cumberland  County, 
which  were  located  as  follows:  Fort  Granville,  in  present  Mifflin 
County;  Patterson's,  in  present  Juniata  County,  and  at  Sideling 
Hill,  now  in  Bedford  County. 

Among  the  forts  mentioned  in  provincial  history  is  Fort  Au- 
gusta, built  by  Colonel  Clapham's  regiment,  which  was  located 
where  the  present  town  of  Sunbury  stands.  Joseph  Greenwood — 
after  whom  Greenwood  Township  was  named  later — and  George 
Gabriel  acted  as  guides  for  the  regiment  of  soldiers  which  Colonel 
Clapham  was  conducting  to  Fort  Augusta,  as  their  signatures  to 
an  affidavit  dated  June  2,  1756,  verifies.  On  account  of  the  better 
trail  the  movement  of  troops  was  conducted  up  the  Perry  County 
side.  A  member  of  this  regiment  was  Ensign  Samuel  Miles,  who 
twenty  years  later  was  a  colonel  commanding  a  Continental  regi- 
ment in  the  army  under  Washington.  In  a  journal  kept  by  him 
he  tells  of  this  early  trip  up  the  west  side  of  the  Susquehanna  to 
the  site  of  Sunbury. 

Fort  Robinson  was  built  by  the  members  of  that  brave  and  in- 
trepid family  by  the  name  of  Robinson,  resolute  woodsmen  inured 
to  hardship,  toil  and  danger,  and  their  neighbors  who  inhabited 
Sherman's  Valley,  as  a  place  of  refuge  from  Indian  attack. 
It  was  a  log  fort,  surrounded  by  a  stockade.  It  occupied  a  site 
on  the  present  Edward  R.  Loy  farm,  near  Centre  Church,  being 
located  on  a  tableland  with  a  good  view  of  the  surrounding  coun- 
try. At  its  edge  was  a  bluff,  the  shelter  of  which  was  sought  in 
escaping  to  the  fort.  The  lowlands  below  were  heavily  wooded 
with  large  oak  and  maple,  which  also  afforded  protection  in  going 
to  the  fort.  A  spring  was  located  at  the  foot  of  the  bluff  where 
water  was  secured  with  the  least  exposure,  the  distance  from  the 
stockade  being  only  the  steep  bank — probably  twenty  feet.  It  was 
not  under  provincial  control,  at  least  there  are  no  records  to  prove 
such  fact.  The  Robinsons  figured  prominently  in  pioneer  life. 
A  brother  of  George  Robinson,  who  located  the  fort  and  stockade 
was  a  member  of  Colonel  Armstrong's  expedition  to  Kittanning. 
George  Robinson  warranted  the  tract  on  which  the  fort  was  lo- 
cated, the  fort  being  built  in  1755.  The  fort  was  evidently  in  the 
nature  of  a  block  house,  surrounded  by  a  stockade  built  of  heavy 
planks  or  poles.     It  was  located  along  the  famous  Allegheny  or 


Traders'  Path  and  was  the  only  source  of  protection  for  the  trav- 
eler along  the  Allegheny  Path  between  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue 
Mountain  and  the  Tuscarora.  There  are  no  traces  of  the  pioneer 
battlements,  nothing  to  indicate  the  part  played  by  these  hardy 
pioneers  in  the  struggle  for  settlement  and  civilization. 

While  called  a  fort  it  would  probably  have  come  under  the 
term  of  stockade.  The  stockades  of  that  period  were  practically 
all  of  one  style.  They  consisted  of  oak  logs,  about  seventeen  feet 
long,  set  in  a  ditch  four  feet  deep,  the  logs  being  usually  about  a 
foot  in  diameter.  Around  the  inside  was  erected  a  platform  of 
logs  about  four  or  five  feet  from  the  ground,  upon  which  the  pio- 
neers stood  and  aimed  their  guns  trough  port  holes  made  in  the 
logs.  This  additional  elevation  gave  them  a  considerable  advan- 
tage in  reconnoitering  the  surrounding  country. 

Speaking  of  the  Fort  Robinson  site  "Frontier  Forts  of  Penn- 
sylvania" queries,  "Could  there  be  a  place  in  our  commonwealth 
more  worthy  of  the  fostering  care  of  her  people?"  Working  along 
that  line  during  1920,  the  centenary  of  Perry  County's  organiza- 
tion, the  author  of  this  volume  took  up  with  the  State  Historical 
Commission  the  advisability  of  marking  the  site  with  a  proper 
stone  and  inscription,  with  the  result  that  that  Commission  will 
agree  to  have  the  bronze  inscriptions  placed  upon  a  native  boulder 
(as  being  appropriate  to  pioneer  life)  if  some  local  organization 
will  agree  to  arrange  for  its  future  care.  Plans  are  now  under 
way  for  its  consummation  and  within  another  year  this  historic 
site  will  probably  be  marked  for  all  time. 

In  a  list  of  provincial  forts  prepared  by  Jay  Gilfillen  Weiser, 
of  Middleburg,  in  1894,  and  published  in  "Frontier  Forts  of 
Pennsylvania,"  the  only  fort  credited  to  Perry  County  is  Hen- 
drick's,  built  in  1770.  This  is  an  error,  as  Hendrick's  fort  was 
located  in  what  is  now  Snyder  County. 

On  a  map  which  appears  in  "Frontier  Forts  of  Pennsylvania," 
showing  the  disposition  of  the  provincial  troops  in  the  Western 
District  for  the  winter  season  of  1764,  in  the  territory  which  now 
comprises  Perry  County,  are  located  two  detachments,  one  marked 
"A.  Grove's,  an  officer  and  20  men,"  and  the  other,  "Fisher's  an 
officer  and  20  men."  The  location  marked  drove's  is  near  the 
centre  of  western  Perry,  vicinity  of  Fort  Robinson,  and  Fisher's, 
approximately  where  the  county  seat  is  located. 

While  Fort  Halifax  is  in  Dauphin  County,  it  is  to  be  noted 
here  that  it  was.  with  the  exception  of  Fort  Hunter,  the  only  fort 
really  built  by  the  province  along  any  border  of  the  present  county 
of  Perry,  Fort  Robinson  being  built  by  the  pioneers  themselves, 
according  to  the  only  records  available.  Fort  Halifax  stood  a  half 
mile  above  where  the  present  town  of  Halifax  now  stands,  and  was 
garrisoned  with  provincial  troops.     Commissary  General  Young, 


in  a  report  to  the  governor  and  council,  said  that  "Fort  Halifax 
was  in  a  very  bad  location,  being  built  beyond  two  ranges  of  hills 
and  nobody  living  near  it,  none  could  be  protected  by  it ;  that  it 
is  no  station  for  batteaux  parties,  having  no  command  of  the  chan- 
nel, which  runs  close  to  the  western  shore,  and  is  besides,  covered 
with  a  large  island  (Clemson's)  between  the  channel  and  the  fort, 
so  that  numbers  of  the  enemy  may,  even  in  daytime,  run  the 
river,  without  being  seen  by  that  garrison,  and  that  though  the  fort, 
or  blockhouse  at  Hunter's  was  not  tenable,  being  hastily  erected 
and  not  finished,  yet  the  situation  was  the  best  upon  the  river  for 
every  service,  as  well  as  for  the  protection  of  the  frontiers." 

The  purpose  of  the  construction  of  Fort  Halifax  at  that  location 
is  uncertain,  as  records  show  that  but  two  families  resided  any- 
where in  the  vicinity,  and  the  river  channel  was  on  the  opposite 
side,  with  the  Clemson  Island  between.  In  all  probability  it  was 
erected  as  a  convenient  and  safe  place  to  lodge  during  the  two- 
day  trip  from  Fort  Hunter  to  Fort  Augusta,  which  was  located 
where  Sunbury  now  stands.  It  was  dismantled  and  abandoned  in 
1763.  Clemson's  Island,  lying  in  the  river  opposite  the  fort,  was 
the  home  of  a  considerable  number  of  Indians,  who  could  easily 
have  annihilated  a  large  party. 

Fort  Hunter  was  a  provincial  fort  located  opposite  the  site  of 
the  present  town  of  Marysville,  on  a  small  promontory,  where 
Fishing  Creek  enters  the  Susquehanna  River,  on  the  eastern  side. 
It  is  in  Dauphin  County  and  one  of  the  two  provincial  forts 
erected  along  the  county's  border.  The  property  is  now,  or  was 
lately,  in  the  possession  of  John  Reilly.  Its  location,  described  in 
provincial  records  as  being  "where  the  Blue  Hills  cross  the  Sus- 
quehanna," gave  it  command  of  the  passage  through  this  water 
gap  and  of  the  river  itself,  affording  a  place  of  rendezvous  for  the 
batteaux  which  carried  supplies  to  Fort  Halifax  and  Fort  Augusta 
at  Shamokin  (now  Sunbury).  It  was  a  blockhouse,  surrounded 
by  a  stockade,  and  occupied  the  site  of  the  present  Reilly  mansion. 
It  was  erected  about  1755,  as  it  is  spoken  of  in  official  records  as 
early  as  January  10,  1756,  as  "the  fort  at  Hunter's  mill."  Its 
location  was  at  a  very  romantic  spot,  noted  for  its  picturesque 
outlook.  In  1 8 14  Archibald  McAllister  erected  a  large  storage 
house  upon  its  ancient  foundations.  Not  far  above  the  site  are 
the  famous  "Hunter's  Falls,"  where  the  river  narrows  to  pass 
through  a  gap  and  where  its  waters  are  deep  and  swift,  as  they 
rush  over  immense  ledges  of  rock  which  the  waters  of  the  cen- 
turies have  failed  to  yet  wear  away. 

Fort  Bigham,  a  strong  blockhouse,  surrounded  by  a  small  stock- 
ade, commanded  Bighanrs  Gap  on  the  Juniata  County  side,  through 
which  lay  the  famous  Allegheny  Path  to  the  West.  It  was  on  the 
"plantation"  of   Samuel  Bigham,  a  Scotch-Irish  settler  who  had 


located  in  the  Tuscarora  Valley  in  1754.  With  Bigham  came  fohn 
and  James  Gray  and  Robert   Hoag,  who  joined  in  the  erection  of 

the  fort  as'  a  place  of  refuge.  Other  settlers  used  it  also  until 
June,  1756,  when  it  was  attacked  and  burned  by  the  Indians,  who 
killed  or  took  prisoner  all  who  had  sought  refuge  therein,  the  total 
being  twenty-three  persons.  It  was  rebuilt  in  1760  by  Ralph  Ster- 
rett,  described  by  Jones,  in  his  History  of  the  Juniata  Valley,  as 
"an  old  Indian  trader."  In  this  fort  his  first  child,  William  Ster- 
rett,  was  born.  It  is  related  of  Sterrett  that  upon  an  occasion  an 
Indian  tired  and  hungry,  passing  his  way,  was  invited  in  and 
given  a  meal  and  tobacco.  He  had  even  forgotten  the  occurrence 
when,  in  1763,  the  Indians  again  being  on  the  warpath,  he  heard 
a  noise  and  looking  out  saw  an  Indian  in  the  moonlight.  He 
coolly  demanded  his  business,  when  the  Indian  recalled  the  hos- 
pitality and  stated  that  the  Indians  were  as  plenty  as  the  pigeons 
in  the  woods  and  before  another  night  they  would  be  at  Fort 
Bigham  to  scalp  and  kill.  Nearly  all  the  settlers  of  the  valley 
were  in  the  fort  and  were  awe-stricken.  They  immediately  began 
preparations  and  long  before  daybreak  a  train  of  pack  horses, 
carrying  them  and  their  belongings  was  crossing  Perry  County 
soil,  via  the  Allegheny  Path,  to  Carlisle. 

Until  recent  years  there  stood  on  the  Preston  A.  McMillen 
farm,  about  a  mile  northeast  of  Kistler,  in  northeast  Madison 
Township,  a  log  building  which  had  been  used  both  as  a  residence 
and  as  a  fort.  Families  by  the  name  of  Logan  had  taken  up  these 
lands,  which  included  the  farms  now  owned  by  Lucian  McMillen, 
Linn  J.  McMillen,  and  Preston  A.  McMillen.  On  this  latter 
property  this  building  was  erected  for  both  a  residence  and  the 
protection  of  the  surrounding  families.  Some  logs  from  the  build- 
ing were  used  for  the  construction  of  the  McMillen  barn  and  are 
pointed  out  to  the  inquirer.  It  was  on  the  nature  of  a  blockhouse. 
The  property  on  which  the  fort  was  erected  is  now  in  the  hands 
of  the  fifth  generation  of  McMillens,  one  of  Perry  County's  sub- 
stantial families.  As  fast  as  possible  the  Indians  replaced  their 
bows  and  arrows  with  firearms  and  the  residents  of  these  farms 
frequently  had  to  seek  shelter  from  the  redskins.  On  one  occa- 
sion a  hog  had  been  killed  and  was  being  prepared  for  use  in  the 
cellar  when  an  attack  was  made  and  a  bullet  struck  above  the  cellar 
door,  imbedding  itself  five  and  one-half  inches  in  a  walnut  log. 
-Many  people  yet  living  saw  this  log  when  a  part  of  the  old  build- 
ing. The  marks  of  other  bullets  could  be  plainly  seen.  When 
things  got  too  serious  the  settlers  would  flee  to  the  mountains,  all 
wooded,  and  escape  to  Carlisle.  The  logs  were  hewed  on  both 
sides,  some  of  them  being  almost  two  feet  in  width.  In  an  In- 
dian account  of  Robert  Robinson,  elsewhere,  he  tells  of  a  Captain 
Dunning  seeking  Indians  and  coming  to  a  certain  house   (Alex- 


ander  Logan's)  after  the  fight  on  Buffalo  Creek.  This  old  block- 
house was  Logan's  home.  A  favorite  pastime  of  the  McMillens 
of  a  century  ago  was  "digging"  bullets  from  these  old  logs. 

Where  the  Tressler  Memorial  Lutheran  church  at  Loysville  now 
stands  once  stood  a  log  cabin  equipped  like  a  blockhouse,  the  rear 
room  being  without  windows  and  having  portholes.  This  prop- 
erty was  later  owned  by  John  Kistler,  father  of  Rev.  Kistler,  who 
was  a  missionary  to  India  about  i860. 

While  there  is  no  official  record  of  there  having  been  a  fort  at 
New  Buffalo  during  the  early  settlements,  yet,  according  to  old 
records  Henry  Meiser,  of  what  is  now  Snyder  County,  put  his 
children  in  chaff  bags  and  escaped  to  New  Buffalo,  where  there 
was  a  temporary  fort  for  refuge.  Evidently  Fort  Halifax — oppo- 
site New  Buffalo — was  referred  to. 

Some  of  the  earlier  homes  were  equipped  with  portholes,  for 
use  in  case  of  an  Indian  attack.  One  of  these  was  the  house  on 
the  Thomas  Adams  farm,  near  New  Germantown,  in  Toboyne 
Township,  now  owned  by  Milo  N.  W'illhide,  its  location  being 
just  south  of  Sherman's  Creek. 

That  those  daring  provincials  located  at  these  forts  were  kept 
busy  is  attested  by  their  many  reports  which  are  a  part  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Archives.  A  letter  from  Capt.  James  Patterson, 
commandant  at  Fort  Hunter,  dated  January  10,  1758,  and  ad- 
dressed to  "the  Honorable  William  Deney,  Esq'r,  Governour  and 
Commander  in  Chief  of  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,"  follows: 

"Fort  Hunter,  Jan'ry  ye  10th,  1758. 

"I  took  with  me  19  men  &  ranged  from  this  Fort  as  far  as  Robinson's 
Fort,  where  I  lodged,  keeping  a  guard  of  six  men  &  one  Corporal  on 
Gentry  that  night.  The  sixth  day  I  marched  towards  Hunter's  Fort, 
ranging  along  the  mountain  foot  very  diligently  till  I  came  to  the  Fort 
that  evening,  my  men  being  so  afflicted  with  sickness ;  I  could  not  send 
out  till  the  eighth  day,  Lieu't  Allen,  with  14  men,  went  to  Range  for  three 
days.  On  the  12th  day  Lieu't  Allen,  with  Eighteen  men  &  one  Serjeant 
ranged  along  the  mountain  about  14  miles  from  this  Fort,  where  he  met 
Cap't  Lieu't  Weiser  with  his  party  &  returned  back  towards  this  Fort  the 
next  day  &  came  to  it  that  night.  The  fifteenth,  Lieu't  Allen,  with  18  men, 
kept  along  the  Frontier  till  the  25th  &  came  to  this  Fort  that  night. 

"Hearing  of  Indians  harbouring  about  Juniatta,  on  the  28th  of  De- 
cember, I  took  15  men  with  me  up  the  Creek,  and  about  14  miles  from 
the  mouth  of  it  I  found  fresh  tracks  of  Indians  on  both  sides  of  the 
Creek  &  followed  the  tracks  about  four  miles  up  the  said  Creek,  where  I 
lost  the  tracks,  but  I  still  kept  up  the  Creek  'till  I  gott  up  about  25  miles 
from  the  mouth  of  said  Creek,  where  I  encamped  that  night.  The  In- 
dians I  found  were  round  me  all  night,  for  my  Dogg  made  several 
attacks  towards  the  Woods  as  if  he  saw  the  Enemy  and  still  run  back  to 
the  Centry.  On  the  3d  of  January  I  returned  down  the  Creek  in  some 
Canoes  that  I  found  on  said  Creek,  and  when  I  came  about  nine  miles 
down  I  espied  about  20  Indians  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Creek  to  where 
I  was.  They  seemed  to  gett  themselves  in  order  to  fire  upon  the  men  that 
were  in  Canoes.     I   immediately  ordered  them   all  out  but  two  men  that 


let  the  Canoes  float  close  under  the  shore,  and  kept  the  Land  in  readiness 
to  fire  upon  the  Enemy,  as  soon  as  they  moved  out  of  the  place  where 
they  lay  in  Ambush,  but  I  could  see  no  more  of  them.  On  the  5th  day 
of  January  I  came  to  this  Fort." 

It  will  be  noted  that  Captain  Patterson  terms  the  Juniata,  "the 
Creek."  Fourteen  miles  from  the  month  of  it,  where  he  foimd  the 
Indian  tracks,  would  have  been  at  the  vicinity  where  Buffalo 
Creek  empties  into  the  Juniata,  above  Newport.  Having  gone  up 
twenty-five  miles  from  its  mouth  and  returned  nine  he  saw  twenty 
Indians.  That  point  was  probably  in  the  vicinity  of  Old  Ferry, 
midway  between  Newport  and  Millerstown,  but  of  course  there 
is  no  way  of  telling  the  exact  locations,  they  probably  varying  a 
mile  or  two  either  way. 

These  provincials  were  kept  very  busy  by  the  duties  of  their 
position ;  but,  with  the  success  of  the  British  arms,  the  scene  of 
action  shifted,  during  1758,  and  until  Pontiac's  war  in  1763,  this 
pioneer  garrison  had  little  to  do. 


IN  that  section  of  Perry  County  lying  between  the  Juniata  and 
Susquehanna  Rivers  and  along  the  banks  of  the  latter  there  is 
a  mountain  promontory  below  Montgomery's  Ferry,  almost 
jutting  to  the  river's  edge,  which  bears  to  this  day  the  name  of 
"Girty's  Notch,"  said  to  have  been  named  after  Simon  Girty,  the 
renegade,  who  betrayed  his  own  race  to  join  the  redskins  and 
later  the  British.  It  is  in  Watts  Township,  almost  on  the  Buffalo 
Township  line  and  along  the  Susquehanna  Trail — the  state  high- 
way to  the  north.  On  approaching  this  promontory  from  the 
northeast  there  can  be  seen,  half-way  up  the  craggy  rocks,  the  face 
of  a  man — albeit  an  Indian — the  outline  of  which  no  sculptor  could 
improve,  put  there  by  the  Great  Creator  of  the  universe  and  which 
tradition  would  have  us  believe  is  the  counterpart  of  the  Girty 

There  is  record  of  the  elder  Simon  Girty's  once  being  a  prop- 
erty owner,  but  not  here.  In  1743  he  cleared  a  tract  of  thirty 
acres  in  Dauphin  County,  near  the  Susquehanna  River,  and  made 
some  improvements.  He  resided  on  this  place  several  years.  Be- 
coming indebted  to  Thomas  McKee,  the  storekeeper,  in  a  sum 
upwards  of  f300  the  land  subsequently  came  into  the  possession 
of  McKee. 

The  Alexander  McKee,  referred  to  in  connection  with  Girty, 
the  renegade,  in  the  following  pages,  was  a  son  of  this  Thomas 
McKee,  the  trader,  who  kept  a  store  immediately  below  Peters' 
Mountain,  in  Dauphin  County,  opposite  Allen's  Cove.  He  was 
an  Indian  agent  for  the  British  government  and  became  a  pro- 
nounced tory. 

The  activities  of  Simon  Girty,  the  renegade,  in  the  provincial 
affairs  were  of  such  magnitude  that  a  brief  account  is  not  out  of 
place  here,  especially  as  his  father — also  named  Simon  Girty — was 
one  of  the  men  ejected  from  Perry  County  soil  prior  to  the  lands 
being  opened  for  settlement,  mentioned  at  several  places  in  this 
l)i  10k. 

Almost  opposite  Marysville,  Perry  County,  there  empties  into 
the  Susquehanna  River  a  small  stream  known  as  Fishing  Creek. 
A  few  hundred  yards  from  its  mouth,  prior  to  1730,  several  broth- 
ers by  the  name  of  Chambers  erected  a  grist  mill  and  the  place 
came  to  be  known  as  Chambers'  Mill.  It  was  the  same  family  of 
Chambers  which  settled  at  Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania,  in   1736, 




and  gave  their  name  to  that  town.  During  the  French  and  Indian 
War  a  frontier  fort  was  built  at  Chambers'  Mill  and  was  named 
Fort  Hunter,  a  near-by  village  still  bearing  that  name.  It  was 
also  subsequently  called  McAllister's.     Chambers'   Mill  was  a  set- 


During  the    Pioneer   Period   the  name   of   Simon   Girty,   the    Renegade,    lie- 
came   attached    to   this   cliff,   although   nothing    in    Provincial    Annals    bears 
it   out.      Facing   south    on   the    Susquehanna   Trail    the    face   can   be   plainly 
seen    upon    the    rocks,    not    far    below    Montgomery's    Ferry. 

tlement  of  unsavory  reputation  and  is  spoken  of  as  having  had 
few,  if  any,  rivals  for  wickedness  in  the  province.  Here  Simon 
Girty,  the  elder,  who  was  a  middle  aged  man,  had  emigrated  from 
the  Emerald  Isle,  located  and  assumed  the  duties  of  a  pack  horse 
driver.    After  saving  of  his  earnings  to  go  into  business  on  a  small 


scale  as  a  trader  with  the  Indians,  he  married  Mary  Newton,  an 
English  girl.  They  became  the  parents  of  four  boys,  Thomas, 
born  in  1739;  Simon,  with  whom  this  story  deals,  born  in  1741  ; 
James,  born  in  1743,  and  George,  born  in  1745.  The  name  is  vari- 
ously spelled,  "Girty,"  "Girte,"  "Gerty,"  and  sometimes  "Girtee." 
In  a  list  of  traders  licensed  in  1747  Simon  Girty,  the  elder,  does 
not  appear;  in  a  list  of  traders  unlicensed  of  the  same  date,  it 
does  appear.  However,  the  list  of  1748  contains  his  name  among 
those  licensed. 

The  lands  lying  west  of  the  Susquehanna  River  and  north  of  the 
Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain,  which  includes  the  present  county  of 
Perry,  had  not  been  opened  to  settlement  yet,  but  nevertheless, 
by  the  spring  of  1749  there  were  more  than  thirty  families  already 
located  there.  The  sheriff  of  Lancaster  County  having  authority 
over  all  the  lands  west  of  the  Susquehanna  except  York  County, 
three  magistrates  and  a  provincial  agent  were  sent  to  what  is  now 
Perry  County  soil  to  warn  the  people  to  leave  immediately.  Little 
heed  was  given  to  their  words  and  others  also  went  in  and  located. 
Among  these  was  Simon  Girty,  in  1749,  with  his  wife  and  little 
brood,  settling  on  Sherman's  Creek,  but  their  career  there  was 
suddenly  terminated,  as  eight  provincials  appointed  by  the  consti- 
tuted authorities,  accompanied  by  a  deputy  sheriff  of  the  new- 
county  of  Cumberland,  proceeded  to  carry  out  by  force  the  desires 
of  the  Indians  and  the  commands  of  the  authorities.  After  burn- 
ing five  cabins  of  settlers  near  the  Juniata  they  proceeded  to  Sher- 
man's Creek,  where  Girty  and  nine  other  trespassers  were  found. 
Each  had  settled  on  a  separate  tract  and  had  erected  a  cabin. 
These  were  also  burned  and  the  owners  bound  over  to  appear  at 
Shippensburg,  then  the  seat  of  justice  of  the  new  county,  in  the 
sum  of  one  hundred  pounds  each.  In  view  of  the  others  having 
remained  when  notified  to  leave  during  the  previous  year  this  oc- 
currence can  hardly  be  viewed  with  great  discredit  to  Girty.  From 
here  he  went  back  to  Chambers'  Mill. 

Girty,  the  elder,  was  a  drinking  man  of  the  "spree"  type,  and 
met  his  death  at  Chambers'  Mill  on  one  of  these  occasions.  One 
story  tells  of  a  neighbor  knocking  him  in  the  head  and  bearing  off 
Mrs.  Girty  as  a  trophy  of  his  prowess;  another  tells  of  a  neighbor- 
hood difficulty  in  which  Girty  was  the  challenger  to  a  duel  and  in 
which  Iris  antagonist  put  the  sword  through  him,  but  both  are  only 
traditionary  tales.  Even  Theodore  Roosevelt,  in  his  "Winning  of 
the  West,"  erroneously  has  him  "tortured  at  the  stake,  toma- 
hawked finally  by  a  papoose  held  up  by  its  father  for  that  pur- 
pose," doubtless  confounding  that  circumstance  with  the  one  hap- 
pening at  the  death  of  Turner,  the  man  who  married  Girty's 
widow  and  who  was  tortured  at  the  stake  at  Kittanning,  as  de- 
scribed further  on  in  this  chapter. 


The  facts,  according  to  the  Magazine  of  American  History,  are 
these:  He  was  killed  in  a  drunken  revelry  by  an  Indian  known  as 
"the  fish,"  at  his  home  in  the  latter  part  of  1751.  His  death  must 
needs  be  avenged  and  the  avenger  in  this  case  was  John  Turner, 
who  made  his  home  with  Girty,  who  killed  "the  fish"  and  thereby 
fulfilled  the  theory  of  "an  eye  for  an  eye,"  etc.  Turner's  reward 
came  later,  when,  early  in  1753,  at  Paxtang  he  was  united  in  mar- 
riage to  Mrs.  Girty,  described  as  a  woman  of  unblemished  char- 

In  1756,  Turner,  his  wife  and  the  four  Girty  boys,  for  their 
better  protection,  were  in  the  fort  known  as  Fort  Granville,  lo- 
cated near  the  present  town  of  Lewistown,  Pennsylvania,  where 
Turner  was  a  second  lieutenant.  On  July  22  a  band  of  over  a 
hundred  Indians  and  twenty-three  Frenchmen  from  Fort  Duquesne 
arrived  at  the  fort  and  challenged  its  occupants  to  combat,  which 
was  declined  by  the  commander,  Captain  Edward  Ward.  All  of 
Ward's  men  were  provincials  in  the  pay  of  Pennsylvania.  Not 
far  away  Sherman's  Valley,  comprising  practically  all  of  western 
Perry  County,  was  depopulated  by  reason  of  the  Indian  massacres 
and  expeditions,  yet  much  grain  had  been  sown  and  was  now  ripe 
with  no  reapers  to  venture  forth  without  protection.  Captain 
Ward  determined  to  guard  the  harvesters  and  took  all  his  men 
save  twenty-three  to  Sherman's  Valley,  thinking  the  French  and 
the  Indians  had  gone. 

In  this  he  was  mistaken,  as  they  were  only  abiding  their  time. 
On  the  very  day  in  which  he  marched,  they  began  a  furious  at- 
tack and  by  a  feint,  entrance  was  gained  through  a  ravine  to 
within  thirty  or  forty  feet  of  the  fort.  The  lieutenant  in  charge, 
Edward  Armstrong,  and  a  private  were  killed,  three  wounded  and 
the  fort  set  on  fire.  The  enemy  then  offered  quarter  if  they  would 
surrender  and  Turner,  then  in  charge,  opened  the  gates.  The  fort 
was  consumed  in  the  flames  and  all  were  taken  prisoners,  including 
Turner,  his  wife  and  the  four  Girty  boys.  Simon  Girty  was  then 
fifteen  years  old.  The  fort  was  sacked  before  its  fall  and  the 
prisoners  were  compelled  to  lug  the  loot  to  the  limit  of  their  en- 
durance. Tradition  says  Turner's  share  was  a  hundred  pounds  of 
salt.  The  trip  was  over  the  Allegheny  Mountains  to  Kittanning, 
where  there  was  an  Indian  village  from  which  this  band  of  In- 
dians were  largely  recruited. 

Turner,  tradition  says, — and  it  is  only  tradition, — was  recog- 
nized as  the  man  who  had  slain  "the  fish"  (who  was  the  murderer 
of  the  elder  Girty)  at  Chambers'  Mill  and  his  doom  was  sealed. 
Be  that  as  it  may,  the  evidence  and  records  of  his  execution  are 
-more  than  tradition.  "They  tied  him  to  a  black  post,  danced 
around  him,  made  a  great  fire  and,  having  heated  them  red-hot, 
ran  gun  barrels  through  his  body.     Having  tormented  him   for 


three  hours,  they  scalped  him  alive,  and  at  last  held  up  a  boy  with 
a  hatchet  in  his  hand  to  give  the  finishing  stroke,"  says  Gordon  in 
his  History  of  Pennsylvania.  His  wife  sat  on  a  log  near  by  with 
their  young  son  and  with  the  four  Girty  boys,  compulsory  be- 
holders of  the  horrible  affair. 

The  family  was  shortly  broken  up,  never  to  be  reunited. 
Simon  was  turned  over  to  the  Senecas,  one  of  the  Six  Nations, 
and  speedily  learned  their  language.  James  was  given  to  the 
Shawnees  and  George  to  the  Delawares,  all  being  adopted.  The 
other  brother,  Thomas,  had  been  recaptured  by  the  whites  in  an 
attack  upon  Kittanning,  within  forty  days  of  his  first  captivity. 
The  Dalawares  and  the  Shawnees,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that 
the  Indians  had  made  a  treaty  of  peace  with  the  English  at  Easton 
in  1757,  remained  hostile  along  the  Ohio.  During  the  autumn  of 
1858,  however,  they  sent  their  representatives  to  Easton,  Penn- 
sylvania, and  too  formed  a  treaty  of  peace.  As  a  result  all  white 
prisoners  were  delivered  up  at  Pittsburgh,  and  among  them  were 
the  three  Girty  boys,  their  mother  (  Mrs.  Turner)  and  her  young 
son,  John  Turner. 

Having  lived  the  wild  life  of  the  red  men  for  some  time  the 
boys  were  rough  and  crude  and  now  almost  grown  into  young 
manhood.  Their  location  at  Pittsburgh  placed  them  among  a 
rough  and  uncouth  element,  as  it  was  a  mere  trading  post  and 
frontier  fort  with  the  attending  influences.  The  principal  business 
was  trading  with  the  Indians  and  the  linguistic  ability  of  these 
boys,  Simon  being  but  eighteen  and  his  brothers  younger,  made 
their  services  invaluable,  for  collectively  they  could  speak  the  lan- 
guages of  three  different  Indian  nations.  Simon,  who  had  been 
with  the  Senecas,  now  became  popular  with  the  Delawares,  took 
up  their  language,  and  in  a  short  time  could  speak  it  fluently.  One 
of  the  principal  Delaware  warriors — Katepakomen — liked  him  so 
well  that  he  assumed  his  name.  The  capture  of  this  Indian  pre- 
tender, "Simon  Girty,"  by  Colonel  Henry  Bouquet  in  1764,  when 
he  marched  with  his  men  west  of  the  Ohio,  is  responsible  for  con- 
flicting historical  accounts,  many  of  which  assume  that  it  was  the 
real  Simon  Girty. 

Simon,  and  perchance  his  brothers  also,  became  popular  among 
a  certain  class  of  the  white  population  surrounding  the  post  and 
an  incident  of  historical  preservation  is  that  he  voted  at  the  first 
election  ( i//i )  when  Bedford  was  made  a  county,  including 
practically  all  the  territory  of  western  Pennsylvania.  Two  years 
later  (1773-)  Westmoreland  County  was  created,  with  the  capital 
at  Hannastown,  about  thirty-five  miles  east  of  Pittsburgh,  and  it 
then  comprised  all  of  these  western  Pennsylvania  lands.  The  stu- 
dent of  history  will  recollect  how  Pennsylvania  and  Virginia 
clashed  for  that  territory,  Pennsylvania  contending  that  much  of 


the  land  even  along  the  Ohio  belonged  to  the  province,  while  Vir- 
ginia's contention  was  that  that  state  owned  even  the  location 
where  Pittsburgh  now  stands  and  where  the  post  was  then  located. 
In  the  same  year  Lord  Dnnmore,  governor  of  Virginia,  visited 
the  section  and  took  measures  for  its  being  made  a  part  of  his 
.state.  Simon  Girty  took  sides  with  Virginia.  At  the  October  ses- 
sions of  court  of  that  year  a  warrant  was  issued  for  his  arrest  for 
a  misdemeanor,  the  grand  jury  having  found  a  true  bill,  but  he 
escaped.  Dr.  John  Conolly,  of  Pittsburgh,  was  the  leader  of  the 
Virginians,  who,  with  an  armed  force,  assailed  the  court  at  Han- 
nastown  and  sent  three  of  the  justices  to  jail  in  Virginia.  Penn- 
sylvania's champion  was  Arthur  St.  Clair,  also  of  Pittsburgh,  who 
caused  Conolly's  arrest  and  had  him  imprisoned  at  Hannastown. 

Not  only  the  boundary  troubles,  but  others  threatened  the  new 
country.  As  the  tide  of  emigration  broke  through  the  Alleghenies 
and  rolled  westward  in  a  continuous  stream  towards  the  Ohio 
Valley  the  continuous  conflict  of  the  red  and  white  races  was  again 
uppermost.  Southwest  of  Pittsburgh  the  Shawnees  and  the  Min- 
goes  were  on  one  side  and  the  Virginians  on  the  other.  In  this 
war  Simon  Girty  was  an  active  participant.  Taking  sides  with 
Virginia  in  the  boundary  dispute  when  his  own  state  was  con- 
cerned, naturally  he  could  easily  do  so  then.  When  Lord  Dun- 
more  reached  Pittsburgh  with  the  northern  branch  of  the  Vir- 
ginia army  Girty  became  his  interpreter  as  well  as  a  scottt.  Dun- 
more  had  also  with  him  several  scouts  whose  frontier  deeds  made 
them  famous,  but  of  a  type  the  opposite  of  Girty.  The  criticism 
of  Roosevelt  covering  this  phase  in  his  "Winning  of  the  West" 
is  "At  the  moment  he  was  serving  Lord  Dnnmore  and  the  whites ; 
but  he  was  by  taste,  habits  and  education  a  red  man,  who  felt  ill 
at  ease  among  those  of  his  own  color." 

Lord  Dunmore's  war  did  not  lessen  the  severity  of  the  boundary 
dispute  around  Pittsburgh  and  Girty  was  made  a  second  lieutenant 
on  his  retnrn  from  the  expeditions  against  the  Indians.  The  im- 
mediate effect  of  this  was  to  give  Virginia  immunity  from  Indian 
troubles  at  the  west  and  to  give  Pennsylvania  resumption  of  its 
trade  with  the  Indians.  But  the  Revolutionary  War  was  at  hand 
and  after  the  battle  of  Lexington  patriotism  west  of  the  moun- 
tains put  all  else  to  rout  and  at  conventions  held  at  Pittsburgh  and 
Hannastown  practically  everybody  gave  expressions  to  their  senti- 
ments, among  them  being  the  supporters  of  Lord  Dnnmore.  who 
rallied  to  the  Whigs,  with  a  single  exception  or  two,  which  did  not 
include  Girty. 

■  On  May  1,  1776,  he  was  appointed  an  interpreter  by  the  Co- 
lonial government  to  interpret  for  the  Six  Nations  at  Pittsburgh, 
which  practically  meant  for  the  Senecas.     His  wage  was  to  be 


four-eights  of  a  dollar  per  day.  On  August  i  it  was  found  nec- 
essary to  discharge  him  for  ill  behavior. 

He  then  exerted  himself  in  getting  recruits  for  the  patriot  army 
for  which  he  expected  a  captain's  commission.  In  this  he  failed, 
but  was  made  a  second  lieutenant  in  Captain  John  Stephanson's 
company  of  one-year  men.  The  company  was  sent  to  Charleston, 
hut  for  some  reason  he  was  not  with  them,  hut  on  detached  duty. 
Early  in  August  (1776)  he  resigned  his  commission.  He  was  then 
already  plotting  with  the  Indians.  General  Hand,  on  assuming 
charge  of  the  military  affairs  at  Pittsburgh,  discovered  that  there 
was  doubtful  loyalty  among  some  of  the  inhabitants.  Alexander 
McKee,  an  influential  trader  who  had  come  from  that  part  of  the 
province  lying  east  of  the  mountains,  being  especially  suspicioned. 
He  and  Girty  were  friends.  He  was  paroled  to  the  immediate 
vicinity.  There  was  a  movement  on  foot  to  murder  all  the  Whigs 
and  turn  the  government  over  to  Hamilton,  the  lieutenant  gover- 
nor, located  at  Detroit,  and  Girty  was  suspected  of  being  in  the 
plot  and  was  arrested  and  confined  in  the  guardhouse.  He  soon 
broke  out,  just  to  show  that  he  could,  but  returned  of  his  own 
accord  and  was  imprisoned.  Later  he  was  examined  by  a  magis- 
trate and  acquitted.  Being  restored  to  confidence,  during  the  fall 
he  was  sent  to  meet  the  Senecas,  living  on  the  upper  waters  of  the 
Allegheny,  who  were  supposed  to  be  hostile  to  the  United  States. 
He  would  have  been  held  by  them  as  a  spy  but  managed  to  escape. 

Finally  from  authentic  reports  it  became  known  to  General 
I  land  that  Alexander  McKee  was  making  preparations  to  leave 
Pittsburgh  to  join  the  enemy.  On  December  29,  1777,  he  was 
ordered  to  York,  Pennsylvania,  there  to  answer  orders  of  the  Con- 
tinental Board  of  War,  but  the  tory  made  excuses  and  was  allowed 
to  remain.  On  February  7,  177S,  he  was  again  officially  ordered  to 
York,  but  feigned  illness  and  was  permitted  to  remain.  Mean- 
while he  was  secretly  preparing  to  take  as  much  of  his  property 
as  was  portable  with  him  and  at  the  earliest  possible  moment  start 
for  the  Indian  country  on  his  way  to  Detroit.  He  had  influenced 
Girty  to  join  in  the  flight  and  on  the  night  of  March  28,  1778, 
McKee  and  his  cousin,  Robert  Surphlit,  together  with  Matthew 
Elliott,  Simon  Girty,  a  man  named  Higgins  and  two  negroes  be- 
longing to  McKee  departed  for  the  Indian  country  and  Detroit, 
traitors  to  the  land  of  their  birth. 

Many  reasons  are  advanced  for  Girty's  disaffection,  but  the  per- 
suasion of  McKee  and  Elliott  certainly  had  much  to  do  with  ir. 
Farther  than  that  all  must  be  conjecture.  Perchance  its  inception 
may  have  dated  back  to  the  burning  of  that  cabin  of  his  father  by 
the  provincial  authorities  along  Sherman's  Creek — now  a  part  of 
Perry  County — which,  as  a  child  he  sat  by  and  saw,  but  of  which 
he  did  not  comprehend  the  meaning. 


However,  desertions  to  the  enemy  did  not  stop  with  the  seven. 
(  )thers  were  disaffected,  including  part  of  the  garrison  at  Fort 
Pitt.  On  the  night  of  April  20  a  boat  was  stolen  by  some,  who 
fled  down  the  Ohio.  They  were  overtaken  at  the  Muskingum 
River  by  a  party  sent  in  pursuit  and  the  ringleaders  killed  or  cap- 
tured. Six  soldiers  and  two  civilians  escaped.  Of  those  taken 
two  were  shot,  one  hanged  and  two  whipped,  being  given  one 
hundred  lashes  each.  Their  leaving  caused  great  consternation 
among  the  settlers,  some!  even  wanting  to  desert  their  claims  in 
fear  of  the  Indians.  John  Proctor,  of  Westmoreland  County, 
wrote  to  Thomas  Wharton,  president  of  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council  of  Pennsylvania,  on  April  26,  as  follows :  "Captain  Alex- 
ander McKee,  with  seven  (six)  other  villains,  is  gone  to  the  In- 
dians ;  and  since  then  there  are  a  sergeant  and  twenty-odd  men 
gone  from  Pittsburgh,  of  the  soldiers.  What  may  be  the  fate  of 
this  country,  God  only  knows,  but  at  present  it  wears  a  dismal 

Girty  never  possessed  real  estate,  as  sometimes  stated,  hence  he 
left  nothing  behind.  He  could  neither  read  nor  write,  so  left  no 
paper  which  could  shed  any  light  upon  his  actions.  Up  to  the 
time  of  his  desertion  he  was  not  quite  so  black  as  painted  by  many 
historians,  as  his  connections  with  the  provincial  government  will 
attest.  True,  he  drank,  gambled,  associated  with  questionable 
people,  yet  he  was  not  at  that  time  "an  inveterate  drunkard,"  "an 
outlaw,"  "a  redskin  of  the  worst  type,"  etc.  Now,  however,  he 
became  a  renegade,  a  deserter  and  a  traitor  to  his  country — what 
a  threefold  record  of  infamy  those  words  imply ! 

In  all  the  American  settlements  west  of  the  Allegheny  Moun- 
tains watered  by  the  Ohio  and  its  tributaries,  there  were  not  to  be 
found  three  other  persons  so  well  fitted  as  were  McKee,  Elliott 
and  Girty  to  work  upon  the  superstitions  of  the  western  Indians 
for  evil  to  the  patriot  cause ;  and  General  Hand  feared  the  worst, 
thinking  they  had  gone  over  to  the  Indians.  He  and  Colonel 
Morgan  at  once  prepared  "addresses"  and  had  them  sent  to  the 
Delawares.  Others  fearing  to  carry  the  messages,  John  Hecke- 
welder  and  Joseph  Bull,  Moravian  missionaries,  offered  to  carry 
them  to  Coshocton.  They  were  searching  for  the  whereabouts  of 
missionaries  of  their  church  who  had  gone  into  the  Ohio  valleys. 
They  found  the  Delawares  about  to  take  up  arms  against  the 
Americans.  According  to  Heckewelder,  the  renegades  had  stopped 
at  their  town  and  told  them  that  the  patriot  armies  were  cut  to 
pieces,  that  General  Washington  was  killed,  that  there  was  no 
more  congress,  that  the  English  had  hung  some  of  the  members 
and  taken  the  remainder  to  England  to  hang  them  there,  and  that 
the  few  thousand  Americans  who  had  escaped  the  British  soldiers 
were  now  busying  themselves  west  of  the  mountains  for  the  pur- 


pose  of  killing  all  the  Indians  beyond  the  Ohio — even  the  women 
and  children. 

The  renegades  had  left  Coshocton,  but  "White  Eyes,"  the  Dela- 
ware chief,  sent  the  following  figurative  message  out  to  the  Shaw- 
nees  and  the  Mingoes :  "Grandchildren,  ye  Shawnees !  Some 
davs  ago  a  flock  of  birds  that  came  on  from  the  east  lit  at  Goscho- 
ching  (Coshocton)  imposing  a  song  of  theirs  upon  us,  which  song 
has  nigh  proved  onr  ruin !  Should  these  birds,  which,  on  leaving 
us,  took  their  flight  toward  the  Scioto,  endeavor  to  impose  a  song 
on  you  likewise,  do  not  listen  to  them  for  they  lie." 

However,  the  words  of  "White  Eyes"  were  of  no  avail  to  his 
grandchildren  on  the  Scioto.  The  renegades  had  there  met  James 
Girty,  who  was  easily  persuaded  to  join  them.  The  Shawnees 
were  wavering  and  he  was  largely  responsible  for  turning  them 
from  all  thoughts  of  peace  with  the  United  States.  It  was  about 
the  middle  of  June  when  the  original  party  (James  Girty  not  be- 
ing along)  reached  the  open  arms  of  Lieutenant  Governor  Hamil- 
ton at  Detroit.  He  immediately  appointed  Girty  as  interpreter  of 
the  Six  Nations,  the  renegade  thus  becoming  an  employee  of  the 
British,  for  his  services  receiving  two  dollars  per  day.  McKee 
was  made  a  captain  of  the  British  Indian  Department.  On  June 
15,  I//8,  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  issued  a  proclamation 
adjudging  them  traitors.  Hamilton  sent  Simon  Girty  to  the 
Mingoes  and  James  Girty  to  the  Shawnees,  each  instructed  to 
give  the  best  possible  service  both  in  interpreting  and  fighting. 
Until  this  time  neither  had  the  blood  of  a  fellow  countryman  upon 
his  hands.  From  now  on  this  can  not  be  said  of  them.  For  their 
future  attitude  Hamilton  was  largely  responsible. 

Upon  their  reaching  the  Indian  tribes  a  war  party  was  started 
for  Kentucky,  both  being  along.  The  party  brought  back  seven 
scalps,  a  woman  named  Mary  Kennedy  and  seven  children  as 

Simon  Kenton,  the  scout,  had  left  Boone's  station  in  Kentucky 
to  cross  the  Ohio,  being  accompanied  by  Alexander  Montgomery 
and  George  Clark.  They  ran  across  some  horses  in  the  rich  prai- 
ries andj  by  the  use  of  salt  and  halters  succeeded  in  stampeding 
seven  towards  the  Ohio.  The  river  being  wild  the  party  was  de- 
layed in  crossing  and  were  overtaken  by  the  Indians.  Clark  es- 
caped, Montgomery  was  killed  and  scalped,  and  Kenton  was  tied 
upon  the  back  of  one  of  the  wildest  horses.  After  plunging,  kick- 
ing and  rearing  the  animal  finally  followed  the  others.  At  four 
different  villages  he  was  beaten  and  made  to  "run  the  gauntlet," 
almost  losing  his  life  each  time.  Later,  while  seated  on  the  floor 
of  the  council  house  with  his  face  blackened,  a  sure  sign  of  being 
doomed,  in  walked  Simon  Girty,  his  brother  James,  John  Ward 
and  an  Indian  with  the  eight  captives  spoken  of  above  and  the 


seven  scalps.  Kenton  was  temporarily  removed  but  was  shortly 
brought  back.  He  recognized  the  hated  traitor.  Girty  threw  down 
a  blanket  and  with  a  scowl  ordered  him  upon  it.  He  hesitated  and 
Girty  impatiently  jerked  him  upon  it.  Girty  did  not  recognize  him 
and  proceeded  to  quiz  him  for  information.  To  the  inquiry  as  to 
where  he  lived  he  replied  "In  Kentucky."  To  other  questions 
Kenton  gave  answers  which  were  intended  to  lead  his  interrogator 
astray.  Finally  he  was  asked  his  name  and  replied,  "Simon  Butler," 
the  name  he  was  known  by  along  the  frontier.  Girty  embraced 
him  on  the  spot  and  told  him  he  was  condemned  to  death,  but  that 
he  would  use  every  means  to  save  his  life.  His  pleas  were  ef- 
fective, as  the  Indians  relented. 

A  short  time  afterwards  a  party  of  Indians  returned  from  the 
vicinity  of  Wheeling  defeated  by  the  whites,  some  having  been 
killed  and  others  wounded.  Determined  to  be  avenged  they  sent 
to  Girty  to  appear  with  Kenton,  which  he  did.  He  again  inter- 
ested himself,  but  by  an  overwhelming  vote  it  was  decided  to  burn 
him  at  the  stake.  However  at  Girty's  request  he  was  taken  by  the 
Indians  to  Upper  Sandusky  to  suffer  the  torture.  Through  the 
intercession  of  a  trader  there  he  escaped  death,  being  sent  to  De- 
troit.   Subsequently  he  fled  and  finally  arrived  safely  in  Kentucky. 

Captain  John  Clark  had  commanded  a  relief  party  with  provi- 
sions for  Colonel  Gibson  at  Fort  Laurens,  and  on  his  return  Girty 
and  seventeen  redskins  attacked  them  and  killed  two,  wounding 
four  and  taking  one  prisoner.  The  remainder,  including  the  cap- 
tain, fought  a  defensive  fight  back  to  the  fort.  Lieutenant  Gover- 
nor Hamilton,  getting  restless,  had  previously  captured  Vincennes, 
and  Clarke  knew  that  if  he  didn't  get  Hamilton  and  Vincennes 
that  Hamilton  would  get  him.  Accordingly  on  February  7,  with 
a  force  of  126  men  he  started,  and  on  February  25  captured  Ham- 
ilton and  the  fort.  Girty,  in  attacking  Clark,  had  gained  posses- 
sion of  correspondence  of  Colonel  Gibson,  which  he  took  to  De- 
troit, but  Hamilton  had  already  been  captured.  In  the  corre- 
spondence Gibson  revealed  the  fact  that  Girty,  if  captured,  could 
expect  little  mercy  from  him.  At  first  this  caused  a  feeling  of 
despondency  which  developed  into  resentment  and  vindictiveness 
against  his  countrymen  far  greater  than  before. 

Girty  met  an  American  named  Richard  Conner  at  Coshocton 
and  told  him  to  "tell  the  Americans  that  I  desire  to  be  shown  no 
favor,  neither  will  I  show  any."  George  Girty.  who  had  been  a 
second  lieutenant  of  the  Colonial  troops,  also  deserted  and  on  Au- 
gust 8.  1779,  arrived  at  Detroit,  the  third  of  the  family  to  become 
a  renegade.  He  was  made  an  interpreter  and  assigned  to  the 
Sbawnees.  Deer  skins  (known  as  "bucks"  and  "does")  were 
worth  about  a  dollar  each  and  were  in  some  cases  used  as  cur- 
rency.     Hence,  a   charge   to    George    Girty    reads:     "To    salt   at 


Shawnees  towns.  4  bucks;   to  116  pounds  Hour,  14  bucks;    to  bag 
flour.  2  bucks;    to  tobacco,  3  bucks." 

A'  party  of  "Virginians"  from  near  where  Brownsville,  Penn- 
sylvania, now  stands,  went  to  New  Orleans  for  supplies.  They 
had  returned  to  about  three  miles  below  where  the  little  Miami 
joins  the  Ohio  when  Simon  and  George  Girty,  Matthew  Elliott 
and  a  hundred  Indians  attacked  them,  killing  David  Rogers,  the 
captain,  and  forty-one  others  of  the  party  and  taking  five  pris- 
oners. The  Indians  lost  but  two,  with  three  more  slightly 
wounded.  They  captured  a  quantity  of  rum,  forty  bales  of  dry 
goods,  and  a  "chest  of  hard  specie." 

On  one  occasion  Simon  Girty  saved  the  life  of  an  eighteen- 
year-old  boy,  Henry  Baker,  who  had  been  captured  by  a  small 
war  party  near  Wheeling.  He  was  taken  to  Upper  Sandusky, 
where  he  was  placed  with  nine  other  prisoners,  captured  Ken- 
tuckians.  All  were  compelled  to  "run  the  gauntlet."  The  boy, 
being  fleet  of  foot,  easily  ran  it,  which  so  enraged  a  young  Indian 
that  he  knocked  him  down  with  a  club  after  reaching  the  council 
house.  The  nine  Kentuckians  were  burned  at  the  stake,  one  a 
day  until  all  had  perished.  Baker  was  compelled  to  witness  all 
this.  Then  it  was  his  turn.  An  old  chief  ordered  him  taken  out 
and  tied  to  a  stake.  Seeing  a  white  man  approaching  on  horse- 
back, he  resisted  somewhat  and  then  ran  up  and  implored  the  rider 
to  save  him.  It  was  Simon  Girty,  who  at  once  interceded  in  his 
behalf.  The  savages  relented  and  let  him  go,  sending  him  to  De- 
troit as  a  prisoner.     He  escaped  and  reached  his  home  in  safety. 

On  one  occasion  (1781)  Simon  Girty  had  a  narrow  escape  from 
death.  Captain  Brant,  while  drinking  intoxicants,  boasted  of  his 
prowess  and  told  how  he  single-handed  had  captured  a  number  of 
the  enemy.  Girty's  envy  was  awakened  and  he  promptly  told 
Brant  that  he  lied.  The  latter  immediatelv  struck  him  in  the  head 
with  his  sword,  making  an  ugly  scar  which  he  carried  to  his  death 
and  which  he  later  boasted  of  as  "having  received  it  in  battle."  It 
was  many  weeks  before  he  could  even  sit  up. 

Heckewelder,  the  Moravian  missionary,  in  1782,  saw  Simon 
Girty  frequently,  he  being  at  that  time  the  constant  companion  of 
Dunquat,  the  half-king  of  the  Wyandottes.  He  had  then  become 
more  inhuman  and  savage  thai:  ever.  The  winter  was  cold,  food 
was  scarce,  the  cattle  were  dying  for  want  of  food,  there  was  little 
wood  to  burn  and  the  tents  were  small,  many  were  living  on  the 
carcasses  of  the  starved  cattle  ;  yet  when  the  missionary's  wife  had 
prepared  for  themselves  a  little  food,  from  their  scanty  lot.  in 
walked  Simon  Girty  and  a  Wyandotte  Indian  and  helped  them- 
selves. The  half-king  had  lost  two  sons  in  battle  the  previous 
fall  and  was  very  resentful  against  the  whites.     Girty  now  called 


himself  "Captain  Girty"  and  would  instigate  among  the  Wyan- 
dottes  all  the  trouble  possible  for  the  Moravians. 

(  )n  one  occasion  Christian  Fast,  of  Westmoreland  County, 
Pennsylvania,  and  of  the  part  which  later  became  Fayette  County, 
a  hoy  of  seventeen  was  captured.  He  was  wounded  before  being 
made  prisoner  but  his  life  was  spared,  lie  was  adopted  by  a 
I  Vlaware  family  which  had  lost  a  son  in  a  skirmish.  Naturally 
young  Fast  became  melancholy  at  times.  Thoughts  of  home  would 
steal  upon  him,  and  on  one  of  these  occasions  he  had  proceeded 
into  the  woods  and  was  sitting  on  a  log  musing.  He  was  suddenly 
accosted  by  a  white  stranger  and  asked  what  he  was  thinking  about. 
He  replied  that  he  had  no  company  and  felt  lonesome.  "That  is 
not  it,"  said  the  stranger.  "You  are  thinking  of  home;  be  a  good 
hoy  and  you  shall  see  your  home  again."  The  speaker  was  Simon 
Girty,  who  had  taken  a  liking  to  the  boy,  who  later  did  escape  and 
reached  his  own  home  in  safety. 

While  three  of  the  Girty  boys  were  renegades,  the  fourth, 
Thomas  Girty,  lived  in  Pittsburgh,   rather  a  respected  citizen. 

Captain  Crawford,  who  was  a  fellow  officer  with  Girty  in  the 
Virginia  militia  of  a  period  before,  was  captured  and  was  burned 
at  the  stake,  and  among  the  witnesses  of  the  spectacle  was  the 
renegade.  Crawford  was  undressed,  and  tied  to  a  stake  about 
fifteen  feet  high  by  a  rope  which  was  attached  to  the  ligaments 
of  his  wrists.  The  rope  was  of  a  length  to  permit  his  walking 
around  the  post  two  or  three  times,  returning  the  same  way.  The 
fires  were  six  or  seven  yards  from  the  post.  About  seventy  loads 
of  powder  were  shot  into  his  body  and  then  his  ears  were  cut  off. 
On  every  side  were  tormentors  with  burning  faggots  and  if  be 
turned  about  to  escape  torture  he  again  met  with  it.  In  the  midst 
of  these  tortures  Crawford  called  to  Girty  and  begged  to  be  shot. 
In  derision  Girty  replied  that  he  had  no  gun,  and  laughed  heartily, 
all  his  gestures  showing  that  he  was  delighted  with  the  spectacle. 
After  almost  two  hours  of  torture  Crawford  fell  upon  his  stom- 
ach and  was  then  scalped.  Hot  coals-were  applied  to  him,  hut  he 
again  raised  himself  to  his  feet  and  walked  around  the  stake, 
seeming  more  insensible  to  pain  than  before.  Dr.  Knight,  who 
was  also  captured  at  the  same  time,  was  a  witness  up  until  this 
point   when  he  was  led  away. 

Girty  then  told  Knight  to  prepare  for  death,  but  not  there,  as 
he  was  to  be  burned  in  one  of  the  Shawnee  towns.  With  fear- 
ful oaths  he  told  him  that  he  need  not  expect  to  escape  death,  hut 
should  suffer  it  in  all  its  agonies.  Colonel  John  Gibson  had  threat- 
ened to  trepan  him,  if  captured,  and  he  told  Knight  that  some 
prisoners  had  informed  him  that  if  the  Americans  got  him  they 
would  torture  him.  but  that  he  didn't  believe  it.  He  asked  Knight's 
opinion,  hut  he,  having  just  witnessed  the  awful  proceedings  with 


Crawford,  was  so  unnerved  that  he  could  not  reply.  Knight  was 
sent  to  the  Shawnee  town  under  the  guard  of  a  single  Indian, 
whom  he  killed  and  then  escaped,  finally  arriving  at  Pittsburgh 
half  starved. 

George  Girty  was  about  as  blood-thirsty  as  his  brother  Simon. 
John  Stover  had  been  of  the  same  war  party  as  Crawford  and 
Knight,  and  was  later  condemned  to  the  stake.  He  was  tied  to  the 
stake  and  George  Girty  cursed  him  and  told  him  he  was  about  to 
get  what  he  deserved,  but  suddenly  a  storm  broke  and  the  Indians 
sought  cover,  Stover  in  the  meantime  breaking  his  bonds  and 

The  news  of  peace  between  the  United  States  and  Great  Britain 
did  not  reach  Fort  Pitt  until  May.  1783,  and  incursions  into  the 
settlements  by  small  war  parties  of  savages  were  still  carried  on. 
Simon  Girty  led  one  to  Nine  Mile  Run,  within  five  miles  of  Pitts- 
burgh, and  took  a  few  scalps.  This  was  the  renegade's  last  trip 
into  the  state  of  his  birth.  In  July,  1783,  after  five  years  of  almost 
constant  life  among  the  red  men  he  returned  to  Detroit,  where  he 
made  his  home  for  a  short  time.  In  1784  he  journeyed  to  the 
Indian  country  for  Catharine  Malott,  who,  as  a  girl  in  her  teens, 
was  taken  prisoner  on  the  Ohio  River  in  1780.  She  was  now 
grown  to  womanhood  and  wanted  to  escape  savage  life,  which  was, 
no  doubt,  her  only  reason  for  marrying  the  renegade,  which  she 
did  late  that  year,  settling  on  the  Canadian  side.  He  was  still  a 
British  government  agent  and  was  often  on  the  American  side 
urging  the  Indians  to  harass  the  new  government. 

It  appears  nowhere  that  Girty  possessed  courage,  yet  his  cow- 
ardice is  attested  by  hundreds  of  acts  of  a  disreputable  nature. 
About  1798  he  and  his  wife  separated,  as  she  could  not  stand  his 
cruel  treatment.  Later  they  lived  together  again.  When  the 
Americans  came  to  take  possession  of  Detroit  he  got  so  frightened 
that  he  hurriedly  swam  the  river  on  horseback.  He  was  almost 
six  feet  tall,  with  black  hair,  a  full  face,  a  massive  head,  and  black 
eyes.  He  was  bronzed  by  exposure,  and  dressed  in  Indian  fashion, 
being  adorned  with  paint  and  feathers,  and  he  looked  every  inch 
an  Indian. 

He  died  on  his  farm,  in  Canada,  granted  him  by  the  Britisli 
government  for  his  perfidy,  in  1818,  although  many  historians,  in- 
cluding Roosevelt,  in  his  "Winning  of  the  West,"  mistakenly  have 
him  killed  in  battle  at  Proctor's  defeat  on  the  Thames.  Of  the 
four  brothers,  Thomas  alone  led  a  civilized  life. 

Girty  became  an  Indian  of  his  own  free  will,  acquired  their 
habits,  participated  in  their  councils,  inflamed  their  passions,  and 
goaded  them  on  to  the  most  cruel  tortures  of  captives ;  and  he 
deserves  to  go  down  in  history  as  one  of  the  most  desperate  and 
degenerate  characters  in  its  annals.     There  ever   rankled  in  his 


bosom  a  dreadful  hatred  against  his  country,  and  while  he  had  all 
the  vices  of  both  civilized  and  uncivilized  peoples,  he  had  the  vir- 
tues of  neither. 

Tradition  would  have  Simon  Girty,  the  renegade,  use  the  cave 
or  "notch"  near  the  top  of  Half  Falls  Mountain,  known  as  Girty's 
Notch,  as  a  hiding  place  and  observatory  during  the  Indian  trou- 
bles from  1754  to  1764,  but  there  are  official  records,  as  stated, 
during  these  years,  which  connect  him  indisputably  with  the  terri- 
tory lying  west  of  Pittsburgh.  It  is  no  pleasure  to  the  writer, 
whose  birthplace  was  within  a  half  dozen  miles  of  the  location  and 
whose  childhood  was  enlivened  by  tales  of  Girty's  prowess  and 
deviltry,  to  mar  this  tradition,  but  history  not  only  fails  to  bear  it 
out,  but  furnishes  evidence  of  his  activities  having  been  in  an 
entirely  different  region. 

Consul  Willshire  Butterfield,  in  his  History  of  the  Girtys,  se- 
verely criticizes  the  accounts  of  Simon  Girty  as  contained  in 
*Wright's  History  of  Perry  County,  which  was  published  many 
years  ago  and  which  were  probably  taken  from  newspaper  articles 
of  the  period,  as  the  facilities  for  research  at  that  time  were  lim- 
ited. Many  of  the  errors  in  reference  to  Girty  are  caused  by  con- 
fusing father  and  son,  both  being  named  Simon. 

In  the  vicinity  of  Landisburg  there  is  a  tradition  that  Girty's 
perfidy  was  the  result  of  his  not  having  been  given  the  command 
of  the  whites  during  a  skirmish  at  Wagner's  woods,  near  that 
town.  Like  the  other  tales  which  connect  the  renegade  with  Perry 
County  territory,  there  is  nothing  to  it,  as  he  never  was  in  the 
territory  save  as  a  boy  of  eight  years,  when  his  father  was  a 
squatter,  and  later  in  crossing  the  territory  when  twelve  to  fifteen 
years  of  age,  with  his  stepfather  and  family  on  their  way  to  Fort 
Granville,  near  Lewistown.  As  stated,  their  capture  at  that  place 
was  in  1756  and  Girty's  perfidy  dates  from  1776  to  1778,  and  its 
actual  occurrence  was  at  Pittsburgh. 

That  the  renegade  was  a  thorough  Indian  at  heart  is  proven  by 
the  fact  that  in  1792,  when  a  Great  Council  of  all  the  north- 
western tribes  was  convened  on  the  Maumee,  he  was  the  only 
white  man  admitted,  among  the  others  being  forty  chiefs  of  the 
Six  Nations,  who  counseled  peace. 

*In  an  article  in  the  Newport  (Pa.)  Ledger  in  later  years  Mr.  Wright 
wrote:  "From  reliable  information  in  the  writer's  possession  the  renegade 
never  visited  these  places  (Girty's  Notch)  and  could  not  have  given  them 
his  name." 


IN  announcing  the  intention  to  publish  this  book  the  statement 
was  made  that  the  history  of  Duncan's  and  Haldeman's  Is- 
lands, while  located  in  Dauphin  County,  would  be  included  for 
the  reason  that  the  business  and  social  activities  of  every  nature— 
except  legal — are  with  the  Perry  County  side  of  the  river,  and  for 
the  additional  reason  that  the  history  of  one  merges  into  the  other. 
The  only  reason  why  these  two  islands  are  not  a  part  of  Perry 
County  is  that  in  the  old  Indian  grant  to  Penn  the  line  was  made 
the  western  bank  of  the  river.  Logically  they  should  be  a  part  of 
Perry  County,  and  in  1819  a  strong  effort  was  made  to  have  them 
attached  to  Cumberland  County  (of  which  Perry  was  then  a  part), 
but  it  was  defeated.  Then,  a  year  later,  when  Perry  County  was 
formed,  they  probably  could  have  been  attached  to  Perry,  but  no 
effort  was  made.  As  this  chapter  contains  much  of  Indian  life  it 
is  inserted  here,  rather  than  later. 

(  >riginally  the  Juniata's  waters  joined  with  those  of  the  Sus- 
quehanna at  two  points,  one  being  a  channel  at  the  north  end  of 
Duncan's  Island,  thus  forming  between  the  rivers  an  island,  orig- 
inally known  as  Juniata  Island  to  the  natives.  This  channel  was 
known  to  early  rivermen  as  "the  gut."  Marcus  ITulings  connected 
it  with  the  mainland  by  a  causeway,  so  that  pack  horses  could  pass 
over.  Although  it  retains  the  name  "island,"  it  is  in  reality  no 
longer  an  island,  as  the  channel  at  the  upper  end  has  long  since 
been  filled  in,  the  same  having  been  done  when  the  Pennsylvania 
canal  was  building.  During  the  great  floods  of  1846  and  1889 
the  embankment  was  swept  away  and  each  time  was  rebuilt  at 
gnat  expense,  the  first  time  by  the  state,  then  in  possession  of  the 
canals,  and  the  last  time  by  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad,  at  an  ex- 
pense of  $60,000.  Across  it  passed  that  great  artery  of  traffic, 
the  Pennsylvania  canal,  and  over  it  now  passes  the  William  Penn 
highway  and  the  Susquehanna  'frail.  Much  of  this  fill-in  was  dug 
out  when  the  highway  was  put  through  recently,  and  whether  this 
was  discreet  only  another  great  flood  will  tell,  but  rivermen  eon- 
tend  that  it  will  again  break  through. 

Duncan's  Island  is  almost  two  miles  long,  and  almost  all  of  it 
is  now  the  property  of  William  If.  Richter.  It  contains  approxi- 
mately 300  acres  of  land.  During  the  first  decade  of  the  Nine- 
teenth Century  a  village  sprang  up  at  its  southern  point  and  was 
named    I'envenue.      It  still  exists,  but  is  now  largely  summer  cot- 



tages.  Here  once  stood  the  Indian  village  of  "Choniata"  or 
"Juneauta,"  of  which  there  is  record  as  early  as  1654  and  as  late 
as  1745.  From  this  lower  point  of  the  island  a  long,  covered 
wooden  bridge  spans  the  Susquehanna  to  Clark's  Ferry,  a  station 
011  the  Northern  Central  Railway,  and  an  iron  bridge  spans  the 
Juniata  to  a  point  near  Juniata  Bridge,  a  station  on  the  main  line 
1  if  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad. 

When  the  Pennsylvania  canal  was  in  operation  the  mule  teams 
which  drew  the  boats  crossed  the  Susquehanna  bridge  on  a  tow- 
path  built  on  the  outside,  towing  the  canal  boats  across  the  river 
at  this  point,  through  Green's  dam — now  commonly  referred  to 
as  the  Clark's  Ferry  dam.  The  original  ferry  over  the  Juniata 
was  conducted  by  the  Baskins  family,  some  of  whose  descendants 
to  this  day  live  near  by. 

In  Watson's  Annals  the  following  statement  is  to  be  found : 
"This  island  was  the  favorite  home  of  the  Indians  and  there  are 
still  many  Indian  remains.  At  the  angle  of  the  canal,  near  the 
great  bridge,  I  saw  the  mound  covered  with  trees,  from  which 
were  taken  hundreds  of  cartloads  of  human  bones,  and  which  were 
used  with  the  intermixed  earth  as  filling  materials  for  one  of  the 
shoulders  or  bastions  of  the  dam.  What  sacrilege !  There  were 
also  among  them  beads,  trinkets,  etc." 

During  the  latter  part  of  the  last  century  and  the  beginning  of 
the  twentieth  the  writer  was  a  resident  of  the  near  by  vicinity  and 
knows  of  many  arrowheads,  Indian  hatchets,  skinning  stones,  etc., 
being  found  on  the  islands,  and  present  day  residents  say  they  are 
still  being4  found,  especially  when  turning  up  the  ground.  As  late 
as  1916  the  Susquehanna  Archaeological  Expedition,  of  which  Mr. 
George  P.  Donehoo,  the  noted  authority  upon  Indian  and  Colonial 
history,  was  a  member,  found  many  evidences  of  Indian  occupa- 
tion upon  Duncan's  Island.  They  gathered  many  hundred  speci- 
mens of  Indian  origin,  including  banner  stones,  hatchets,  arrow 
points,  etc.  The  upper  end  of  the  island  is  even  now  covered 
with  cracked  stones  used  at  fireplaces.  On  one  of  the  paths  at  the 
lower  end  of  the  island,  Dr.  Moorehead,  of  the  Expedition,  found 
an  unsual  specimen — a  half-finished  banner  stone.  The  so-called 
Indian  mound  was  dug  into,  but  no  traces  of  Indian  work  found 

Duncan's  Island,  even  to  the  eye,  but  more  so  to  memory, 
seems  a  spot  of  fascination  and  romance,  and  its  uncounted  his- 
torical data,  like  its  silt  levels,  is  more  or  less  submerged.  It  was 
here  that  tradition  would  have  two  powerful  tribes,  the  Delawares 
and  Cayugas,  fight  for  days  until  the  eddying  river  inlets  along 
shore  were  crimsoned.  To  tell  the  tale  we  have  only  vast  quantities 
<>f  broken  spearheads  and  arrows,  and  they  are  but  mute  evidence, 
but  to  the  winner  (the  Cayugas,  already  familiar  with  firearms) 


the  strategic  point  between  the  rivers  and  the  oncoming  civiliza- 
tion was  probably  worth  all  it  cost.  Luckily  a  few  records  exist 
which  makes  it  possible  to  get  a  glimpse  into  those  early  days. 

Marcus  Huling,  who  came  from  Marcus  Hook,  Pennsylvania, 
is  credited  by  various  historians  as  probably  being  the  first  settler 
of  Duncan's  Island,  but  there  is  no  record  to  bear  this  out,  but 
there  are  records  relating  to  Hulings  which  disprove  it.  The  first 
settler  was  William  Baskins,  referred  to  farther  on.  Hulings 
owned  the  point  between  the  two  rivers,  long  owned  by  Dr.  Reut- 
ter's  heirs.  Rupp,  the  historian,  gives  the  date  as  1735.  That  he 
was  there  in  1744  is  practically  certain,  as  he  was  one  of  the 
searching  party  which  hunted  for  the  murdered  man  Armstrong 
in  that  year.  (See  "Murder  of  an  Early  Trader,"  chapter  2.) 
The  locality  is  still  the  home  of  some  of  Hulings'  descendants. 

In  a  rough  draft  submitted  to  the  province  to  protect  his  own 
claim  Hulings  has  left  to  posterity  the  names  of  a  few  of  the 
first  settlers  of  these  lands  and  the  vicinity,  as  the  following  pages 
will  show,  and  at  no  place  does  he  claim  either  ownership  or  occu- 
pancy. The  Hulings  family  was  of  Swedish  descent  and  on  set- 
tling between  the  rivers  he  built  the  causeway  over  the  strip  of 
water  connecting  the  two  rivers  and  started  a  ferry  over  the 
Juniata.  Trade  at  that  time,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  all  done 
with  pack  horses.  Later  he  owned  a  toll  bridge  there,  which  at 
his  death  passed  to  Rebecca  Hulings  Duncan. 

With  Braddock's  defeat  in  1755  came  all  the  horrors  of  Indian 
warfare,  and  the  scattered  settlers  in  and  around  Perry  County 
were  obliged  to  flee.  However,  home,  then  as  now,  was  dear  to 
these  pioneers,  and  some  of  them  lingered  long.  Being  apprised 
of  the  near  approach  of  the  redskins  Marcus  Hulings,  grasping  a 
few  valuables,  placed  his  wife  and  youngest  child  upon  a  large 
black  horse  and  fled  to  the  point  of  the  island.  His  other  children 
had  previously  gone  to  seek  safety.  Having  forgotten  something 
and  thinking  the  Indians  might  not  have  arrived  he  ventured  to 
return  to  the  house.  After  carefully  reconnoitering  he  entered 
and  found  an  Indian  upstairs  "coolly  picking  his  flint."  He  par- 
leyed with  the  Indian  to  escape  death  and  got  away.  The  delay 
caused  his  wife  to  believe  him  murdered  and  she  swam  the  Sus- 
quehanna on  horseback,  although  the  water  was  high.  When  he 
arrived  at  the  point  he  crossed  in  a  light  canoe  and  they  finally 
reached  Fort  Hunter,  having  been  preceded  by  the  Baskins  family 
and  other  fugitives.  Here  the  inhabitants  of  Pextang  (Harris- 
burg)  had  rallied  for  defense. 

In  1756  Mr.  Hulings  went  to  the  western  part  of  Pennsylvania 
and  became  the  owner,  whether  by  purchase  or  patent  we  do  not 
know,  of  the  point  of  land  located  between  the  Monongahela  and 
Allegheny  Rivers,  where  they  meet  and  form  the  Ohio,  and  where 


Pittsburgh  now  stands.    Becoming  discontented  he  sold  this  west- 
ern property  for  £200  and  returned  to  the  one  on  the  Juniata. 

While  in  western  Pennsylvania  encroachments  were  made  on 
his  lands  in  what  is  now  Watts  Township,  Perry  County,  and  he 
protested,  as  the  following  letter  still  in  existence,  shows : 

"Fort  Pitt,  May  the  7th,  1762. 
"To  William  Peters,  Esq.,  Secretary  to  the  Propriatories  in  land  office  in 
Philadelphia,  &c: 

"The  petitioner  hereof  humbly  sheweth  his  grievance  in  a  piece  of  un- 
cultivated land,  laying  in  Cumberland  County  (now  Perry),  on  the  North- 
west side  of  Juneadey,  laying  in  the  very  Forks  and  Point  between  the 
two  rivers,  Susquehanna  and  Juneadey,  a  place  that  I  Improved  and  lived 
on  one  Year  and  a  half  on  the  said  place  till  the  enemeyes  in  the  beginning 
of  the  last  Warrs  drove  me  away  from  it,  and  I  have  had  no  opertunity 
yet  to  take  out  a  Warrant  for  it ;  my  next  neighbor  wass  one  Joseph 
Greenwood,  who  sold  his  improvement  to  Mr.  Neaves,  a  merchant  in 
Philadelphia,  who  took  out  a  warrant  for  the  S'd  place,  and  gave  it  into 
the  hands  of  Collonel  John  Armstrong,  who  is  Surveyor  for  Cumberland 
county;  and  while  I  was  absent  from  them  parts  last  summer,  Mr.  Arm- 
strong runed  out  that  place  Joyning  me,  for  Mr.  Neaves ;  and  as  my 
place  layes  in  the  verry  point,  have  encroached  too  much  on  me  and  Take 
away  part  of  Improvements;  the  line  Disided  between  me  and  Joseph 
Greenwood  was  up  to  the  first  short  small  brook  that  emptyed  into  Sus- 
quehanna above  the  point,  and  if  I  should  have  a  strait  line  run'd  from 
the  one  river  to  the  other  with  equal  front  on  each  River  from  that  brook, 
I  shall  not  have  300  acres  in  that  survey ;  the  land  above  my  house  upon 
Juneadey  is  much  broken  and  stoney.  I  have  made  a  rough  draft  of  the 
place  and  lines,  and  if  Your  Honor  will  be  pleased  to  see  me  righted, 
the  Petitioner  hereof  is  in  Duty  bound  ever  for  you  to  pray;  from  verry 
humble  serv't.  Marcus  Hulings." 

Accompanying  the  above  was  a  note  to  Mr.  Peters,  which  shows 
that  Hulings  also  had  a  claim  on  the  south  (west)  side  of  the 
Juniata.     The  note: 

"May  ye  17th,  1762. 
"Sir:  I  have  left  orders  for  Mr.  Mathias  Holston,  living  in  Upper 
Merrion  of  Philadelphia  county,  to  take  out  two  warrants  for  me,  one 
for  the  Point  between  the  two  Rivers,  and  one  for  the  Improvements  I 
have  in  the  place  called  the  Onion  bottom  on  the  south  side  of  Juneadey 
right  opposite  to  the  other,  where  I  lived  six  months  before  I  moved  to 
the  other  place;    from  your  humble  servant,  Marcus  Hulings." 

"Accompanying  these  letters  was  the  rough  draft  spoken  of  in 
the  first  letter,  an  attempted  description  of  which  follows :  Three 
islands  are  marked.  The  one  now  known  as  Duncan's  is  marked 
"Island"  and  the  house  upon  it  as  "Widow  Baskins."  The  large 
island  in  the  Susquehanna  known  as  Haldeman's  is  marked  "Is- 
land" and  three  houses  located,  the  lower  one  being  marked  "Fran- 
cis Baskins,"  the  next  a  third  up  on  the  east  side,  "George  Clark," 
and  a  little  above  the  centre,  "Francis  Ellis."  On  the  east  bank 
of  the  Susquehanna,  almost  opposite,  is  a  house  marked  "James 
Reed,"  while  between  the  centre  of  the  island  and  the  western 
shore  is  a  small  triangular  island. 


On  the  point  between  the  Susquehanna  and  Juniata  Rivers  is 
Hillings'  residence.  Some  distance  from  the  point  is  a  straight 
line  running  from  river  to  river,  marked  "this  is  the  way  I  want 
my  line,"  while  above,  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Susquehanna, 
nearly  opposite  the  James  Reed  house,  is  "Mr.  Neave's  house." 
Farther  up  the  river,  opposite  a  small  island,  is  another  house  also 
marked  "Francis  Ellis."  A  circuitous  line  shows  where  Neave's 
line  crossed  that  of  Hulings.  On  the  south  side  of  the  Juniata, 
below  the  mouth  thereof,  is  a  house  marked  "William  Kerl,"  and 
opposite  the  points  of  Duncan's  Island  is  "James  Baskins'."  Farther 
up,  in  the  plot  called  the  "Onion  bottom,"  is  another  house  marked 
"Marcus  Hulings."  Beyond  this,  on  the  south  side  of  the  Juniata, 
is  a  house  marked  "Cornelius  Acheson,"  who  is  also  credited  with 
encroaching  on  Hulings'  "Onion  bottom"  property.  On  the  east 
side  of  the  Susquehanna  River  Peters'  Mountain  and  "the  nar- 
roughs"  are  marked.  As  Hulings  likely  came  to  these  fertile  lands 
with  provincial  sanction  and  probably  insistence  to  induce  settle- 
ment it  is  believed  that  his  claims,  which  also  appear  to  be  founded 
on  prior  right,  were  adjusted  to  his  satisfaction. 

In  1788  Marcus  Hidings  died.  During  the  earliest  years  of 
their  life  in  that  vicinity  Mrs.  Hulings  on  mor*  than  one  occasion 
forded  the  Susquehanna  on  horseback  with  a  oag  of  grain  which 
she  took  to  the  mill  at  Fort  Hunter.  Marcus,  the  eldest  Hidings' 
son,  did  not  return  with  the  family  to  this  vicinity,  but  remained 
in  Pittsburgh,  where  he  established  a  ferry  at  what  is  now  the 
foot  of  Liberty  Street,  over  the  Monongahela  River.  It  was  aft- 
erwards known  as  Jones'  Ferry.  He  was  later  employed  in  mov- 
ing military  stores  on  the  rivers  in  that  vicinity  and  in  other  work 
in  behalf  of  the  government  and  pioneers.  Another  son  located 
in  the  western  part  of  the  province  and  was  the  owner  of  Hillings' 
Island,  in  the  Allegheny  River. 

Thomas  Hulings,  the  youngest  son,  became  the  owner  of  the 
estate  in  the  East.  He  died  in  Buffalo  Township  in  1808.  His 
first  wife  was  a  daughter  of  General  Frederick  Watts,  of  Revolu- 
tionary fame.  Their  oldest  daughter,  Rebecca,  married  Robert 
Callendar  Duncan,  a  son  of  Judge  Duncan,  of  Carlisle  and  it  is 
through  him  that  Duncan's  Island  gets  its  name,  he  eing  the 
grandfather  of  Mr.  P.  F.  Duncan,  cashier  of  the  Duncai  non  Na- 
tional Bank;  Mrs.  William  Wills  and  Mrs.  Frank  McM;>rris,  of 
Duncannan,  the  line  of  descent  coming  through  Benjamin  Stiles 
I  )uncan. 

As  previously  stated,  Duncan's  Island  was  the  seat  of  an  Indian 
village,  known  as  "Juneauta,"  in  fact  the  island  was  known  by 
that  name  among  the  Indian  tribes.  There  is  a  tradition  which  is 
strongly  substantiated  that  at  one  time  the  Cayugas  and  the  Dela- 
ware's fought  a  battle  here.     To  David  Brainerd,  a  graduate  of 


Vale  College  and  a  distinguished  missionary,  posterity  is  indebted 
for  a  glimpse  into  the  utter  debauchery  and  dissoluteness  of  the 
tribe  of  Indians  located  here,  and  in  all  probability  a  counterpart 

of  the  lives  of  Indians  generally  in  those  days.  It  is  the  first 
record  of  the  Shawnees  in  these  islands. 

He  became  so  devoted  to  the  gospel  that  he  consecrated  his 
whole  life  to  the  evangelizing  of  the  savages,  lie  came  down  the 
Susquehanna  afoot  and  on  May  19.  1745.  he  landed  at  the  Indian 
town  of  Juneauta.     In  his  diary  he  says,  evidently  discouraged: 

"Was  much  discouraged  with  the  temper  and  behavior  of  the  Indians 
here  ;  although  they  appeared  friendly  when  I  was  with  them  last  spring, 
and  then  gave  me  encouragement  to  come  and  see  them  again.  But  they 
now  seem  resolved  to  retain  their  pagan  notions,  and  persist  in  their 
idolatrous   practices." 

On  September  20  he  again  visited  the  island  and  while  his 
descriptions  as  recorded  in  his  diary  are  rather  long  they  are 
reproduced  here  in  full.     lie  says: 

"Found  them  almost  universally  very  busy  in  making  preparations  for 
a  great  sacrifice  and  dance.  Had"  no  opportunity  to  get  them  together,  in 
order  to  discourse  with  them  about  Christianity,  by  reason  of  their  being 
so  much  engaged  about  their  sacrifice.  My  spirits  were  much  sunk  with 
a  prospect  so  very  discouraging;  and  especially  seeing  I  had  this  day  no 
interpreter  but  a  pagan,  who  was  as  much  attached  to  idolatry  as  any  of 
them,  and  who  could  neither  speak  nor  understand  the  language  of  these 
Indians;  so  that  I  was  under  the  greatest  disadvantages  imaginable.  How- 
ever I  attempted  to  discourse  privately  with  some  of  them,  but  without 
any   appearance   of    success;    notwithstanding,    I    still    tarried    with    them, 

"In  the  evening  they  met  together,  nearly  100  of  them,  and  danced 
around  a  large  fire,  having  prepared  ten  fat  deer  for  the  sacrifice.  The 
fat  of  the  inwards  they  burnt  in  the  fire  while  they  were  dancing,  which 
sometimes  raised  the  fire  to  a  prodigious  height;  at  the  same  time  yelling 
and  shouting  in  such  a  manner  that  they  might  easily  have  been  heard  two 
miles  or  more.  They  continued  their  sacred  dance  nearly  all  night,  after 
which  they  ate  the  flesh  of  the  sacrifice,  and  so  retired,  each  one  to  his 
own  lodging. 

"I  enjoyed  little  satisfaction,  being  entirely  alone  on  the  island,  as  to 
Christian  company,  and  in  the  midst  of  this  idolatrous  revel ;  and  having 
walked  to  and  fro  till  body  and  mind  were  pained  and  much  oppressed, 
I  at  length  crept  into  a  little  crib  made  for  corn  and  there  slept  on  the 

The  next  entry  is  dated  Lord's  day,  Sept.  21,  and  continues: 

"Spent  the  day  with  the  Indians  on  the  island.  As  soon  as  they  were 
well  up  in  the  morning  I  attempted  to  instruct  them,  and  labored  for 
that  purpose  to  get  them  together,  but  soon  found  they  had  something 
else  to  do,  for  near  noon  they  gathered  together  all  of  their  conjurors 
and  set  about  half  a  dozen  of  them  playing  their  juggling  tricks  and  acting 
their  frantic,  distracted  postures,  in  order  to  find  out  why  they  were  then 
"so  sickly  upon  the  island,  numbers  of  them  at  that  time  being  disordered 
with  a  fever  and  bloody  flux.  In  this  exercise  they  were  engaged  for 
several  hours,  making  all  the  wild,  ridiculous  and  distracted  motions 
imaginable,    sometimes   singing,   sometimes   howling,    sometimes    extending 


their  hands  to  the  utmost  stretch,  spreading  their  fingers ;  they  seemed  to 
push  with  them  as  if  they  designed  to  push  something  away,  or  at  least 
keep  it  off  at  arm's  end;  sometimes  stroking  their  faces  with  their  hands, 
then  spurting  water  as  fine  mist ;  sometimes  sitting  flat  on  the  earth, 
then  bowing  their  faces  to  the  ground;  then  wringing  their  sides  as  if  in 
pain  or  anguish,  twisting  their  faces,  turning  up  their  eyes,  grunting, 
puffing,  &c. 

"Their  monstrous  actions  tended  to  excite  ideas  of  horror,  and  seemed 
to  have  something  in  them,  as  I  thought,  peculiarly  suited  to  raise  the 
devil,  if  he  could  be  raised  by  anything  odd,  ridiculous  and  frightful. 
Some  of  them,  I  could  observe,  were  much  more  fervent  and  devout  in 
the  business  than  others,  and  seemed  to  chant  and  mutter  with  a  great 
degree  of  warmth  and  vigor,  as  if  determined  to  awaken  and  engage  the 
powers  below.  I  sat  at  a  small  distance,  not  more  than  thirty  feet  from 
them,  though  undiscovered,  with  my  Bible  in  my  hand,  resolving,  if  pos- 
sible, to  spoil  their  sport,  and  prevent  their  receiving  any  answers  from 
the  infernal  world,  and  there  viewed  the  whole  scene.  They  continued 
their  horrid  charms  and  incantations  for  more  than  three  hours,  until  they 
had  all  wearied  themselves  out,  although  they  had  in  that  space  of  time 
taken  several  intervals  of  rest,  and  at  length  broke  up,  I  apprehended, 
without  receiving  any  answer  at  all. 

"After  they  had  done  powwowing  I  attempted  to  discourse  with  them 
about  Christianity,  but  they  soon  scattered  and  gave  me  no  opportunity 
for  anything  of  that  nature.  A  view  of  these  things,  while  I  was  entirely 
alone  in  the  wilderness,  destitute  of  the  society  of  any  one  who  so  much 
as  'named  the  name  of  Christ'  greatly  sunk  my  spirits  and  gave  me  the 
most  gloomy  turn  of  mind  imaginable,  almost  stripped  me  of  all  resolu- 
tion and  hope  respecting  further  attempts  for  propagating  the  gospel  and 
converting  the  pagans,  and  rendered  this  the  most  burdensome  and  dis- 
agreeable Sabbath  which  I  ever  saw.  But  nothing,  I  can  truly  say,  sunk 
and  distressed  me  like  the  loss  of  my  hope  respecting  their  conversion. 
This  concern  seemed  to  be  so  great  and  seemed  to  be  so  much  my  own, 
that  I  seemed  to  have  nothing  to  do  on  earth  if  this  failed.  A  prospect 
of  the  greatest  success  in1  the  saving  conversion  of  souls  under  gospel 
light  would  have  done  little  or  nothing  towards  compensating  for  the  loss 
of  my  hope  in  this  respect;  and  my  spirits  were  so  damp  and  depressed 
that  I  had  no  heart  nor  power  to  make  any  further  attempts  among  them 
for  that  purpose,  and  could  not  possible  recover  my  hope,  resolution  and 
courage  by  the  utmost  of  my  endeavors. 

"The  Indians  of  this  island  can,  many  of  them,  understand  the  English 
language  considerably  well,  having  formerly  lived  in  some  part  of  Mary- 
land, among  or  near  the  white  people,  but  are  very  drunken,  vicious  and 
profane,  although  not  so  savage  as  those  who  have  less  acquaintance  with 
the  English.  Their  customs,  in  various  respects,  differ  from  those  of  the 
other  Indians  upon  this  river.  They  do  not  bury  their  dead  in  a  common 
form,  but  let  their  flesh  consume  above  the  ground,  in  closed  cribs  made 
for  that  purpose.  At  the  end  of  a  year,  or  sometimes  a  longer  space  of 
time,  they  take  the  bones  when  the  flesh  is  all  consumed  and  wash  and 
scrape  them  and  afterwards  bury  them  with  some  ceremony.  Their  method 
of  charming  or  conjuring  over  the  sick,  seems  somewhat  different  from 
that  of  the  other  Indians,  though  in  substance  the  same.  The  whole  of  it 
among  these  and  others,  perhaps,  is  an  imitation  of  what  seems,  by  Naa- 
man's  expression  (Kings  2-11)  to  have  been  the  custom  of  the  ancient 
heathen.  It  seems  chiefly  to  consist  in  their  'striking  their  hands  over  the 
diseased,   repeatedly   stroking   them,   and   calling   upon  their   god;'   except 


the  spurting  of  water  like  a  mist  and  some  of  the  other  frantic  ceremonies 
common  to  the  other  conjurations  which  I  have  already  mentioned. 

"When  I  was  in  this  region  in  May  last  I  had  an  opportunity  of  learning 
of  the  notions  and  customs  of  the  Indians,  as  well  as  of  ohserving  many 
of  their  practices.  I  then  traveled  more  than  130  miles  upon  the  river, 
above  the  English  settlements,  and  in  that  journey  met  with  individuals 
of  seven  or  eight  distinct  tribes,  speaking  as  many  different  languages. 
But  of  all  the  sights  I  ever  saw  among  them,  or  indeed  anywhere  else, 
none  appeared  so  frightful,  or  so  near  akin  to  what  is  usually  imagined 
of  infernal  powers,  none  ever  excited  such  images  of  terror  in  my  mind 
as  the  appearance  of  one  who  was  a  devout  or  zealous  reformer,  or  rather 
restorer  of  what  he  supposed  was  the  ancient  religion  of  the  Indians. 
He  made  his  appearance  in  his  'pontificial'  garb,  which  was  a  coat  of  bear 
skins,  dressed  with  the  hair  on  and  hanging  down  to  his  toes;  a  pair  of 
bear-skin  stockings  and  a  great  wooden  face  painted,  the  one-half  black, 
the  other  half  tawney,  about  the  color  of  the  Indians'  skin,  with  an  ex- 
travagant mouth  cut  very  much  awry ;  the  face  fastened  to  a  bear-skin 
cap,  which  was  drawn  over  his  head. 

"He  advanced  toward  me  with  the  instrument  in  his  hand  which  he 
used  for  music  in  his  idolatrous  worship,  which  was  a  dry  tortoise  shell 
with  some  corn  in  it,  the  neck  of  it  drawn  on  to  a  piece  of  wood,  which 
made  a  very  convenient  handle.  As  he  came  forward  he  beat  his  tune 
with  the  rattle  and  danced  with  all  his  might,  but  did  not  suffer  any  part 
of  his  body,  even  his  fingers,  to  be  seen.  No  one  would  have  imagined 
from  his  appearance  or  actions  that  he  could  have  been  a  human  creature, 
if  they  had  not  had  some  intimation  of  it  otherwise.  When  he  came  near 
me  I  could  not  but  shrink  away  from  him,  although  it  was  then  noonday, 
and  I  knew  who  it  was  ;  his  appearance  and  gestures  were  so  prodigiously 
frightful.  He  had  a  house  consecrated  to  religious  uses,  with  divers 
images  cut  upon  the  several  parts  of  it.  I  went  in  and  found  the  ground 
beat  almost  as  hard  as  a  rock,  with  their  frequent  dancing  upon  it.  I 
discoursed  with  him  about  Christianity.  Some  of  my  discourse  he  seemed 
to  like,  but  some  of  it  he  disliked  extremely.  He  told  me  that  God  had 
taught  him  his  religion  and  that  he  would  never  turn  from  it,  but  wanted 
to  find  some  who  would  join  heartily  with  him  in  it;  for  the  Indians,  he 
said,  were  grown  very  degenerate  and  corrupt.  He  had  thoughts,  he  said, 
of  leaving  all  his  friends  and  traveling  abroad  in  order  to  find  some  who 
would  join  with  him;  for  he  believed  that  God  had  some  good  people 
somewhere  who  felt  as  he  did.  He  had  not  always,  he  said,  felt  as  he  now 
did,  but  had  formerly  been  like  the  rest  of  the  Indians  until  about  four 
or  five  years  before  that  time.  Then,  he  said,  his  heart  was  very  much 
distressed,  so  that  he  could  not  live  among  the  Indians,  but  got  away  into 
the  woods  and  lived  alone  for  months.  At  length,  he  said,  God  comforted 
his  heart  and  showed  him  what  he  should  do,  and  since  that  time  he  had 
known  God  and  tried  to  serve  Him;  and  loved  all  men,  be  they  who  they 
would,  so  as  he  never  did  before. 

"He  treated  me  with  uncommon  courtesy  and  seemed  to  be  heart  in  it. 
I  was  told  by  the  Indians  that  he  was  opposed  to  their  drinking  strong 
liquor  with  all  his  power;  and  that,  if  at  any  time  he  could  not  dissuade 
them  from  it  by  all  he  could  say,  he  would  leave  them  and  go  crying  into 
the  woods.  It  was  manifest  that  he  had  a  set  of  religious  notions  which 
he  had  examined  for  himself  and  not  taken  for  granted  upon  bare  tradi- 
tion;  and  he  relished  or  disrelished  whatever  was  spoken  of  a  religious 
nature,  as  it  either  agreed  or  disagreed  with  his  standard.  While  I  was 
discoursing  he  would  sometimes  say:  'Now,  that  I  like;  so  God  has 
taught  me,'  &c,  and  some  of  his  sentiments  seemed  very  just.     Yet  he 


utterly  denied  the  existence  of  a  devil  and  declared  there  was  no  such 
creature  known  among  the  Indians  of  old  times,  whose  religion  he  sup- 
posed he  was  attempting  to  revive.  He  likewise  told  me  that  departed 
souls  went  southward  and  that  the  difference  between  the  good  and  bad 
was  this:  that  the  former  were  admitted  into  a  beautiful  town  with 
spiritual  walls  and  that  the  latter  would  forever  hover  around  these  walls 
in  vain  attempts  to  get  in.  He  seemed  to  be  sincere,  honest  and  conscien- 
tious in  his  own  way  and  according  to  his  own  religious  notions,  which 
was  more  than  I  ever  saw  in  any  other  pagan.  I  perceived  that  he  was 
looked  upon  and  derided  among  most  of  the  Indians  as  a  precise  zealot, 
who  made  a  needless  noise  about  religious  matters,  but  I  must  say  that 
there  was  something  in  his  temper  and  disposition  which  looked  more  like 
true  religion  than  anything  I  ever  observed  among  other  heathen.  But 
alas!  how  deplorable  is  the  state  of  the  Indians  upon  this  river!  The 
brief  representation  which  I  have  here  given  of  their  notions  and  manners 
is  sufficient  to  show  that  they  are  led  captive  by  Satan  at  his  will  in  the 
most  eminent  manner;  and  methinks  might  likewise  be  sufficient  to  excite 
the  compassion  and  engage  the  prayers  of  God's  children  for  these,  their 
fellow  men,  who  'sit  in  the  region  of  the  shadow  of  death.'  " 

September  22  the  entry  is  as  follows: 

"Made  some  further  attempts  to  instruct  and  Christianize  the  Indians 
on  this  island,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  They  live  so  near  the  white  people 
that  they  are  always  in  the  way  of  strong  liquor,  as  well  as  the  ill  example 
of  nominal  Christians;  which  renders  it  so  unspeakably  difficult  to  treat 
with  them  about  Christianity." 

The  following  summer  (  1746)  Brainerd  again  passed  up  the 
Susquehanna  valley  and  made  the  following  notations  in  his  diary: 

August  19.  Lodged  by  the  side  of  the  Susquehanna.  Was  weak  and 
disordered  both  this  and  the  preceding  day,  and  found  my  spirits  consid- 
erably damped,  meeting  with  none  that  I  thought  godly  people. 

August  21.  Rode  up  the  river  about  15  miles  and  lodged  there,  in  a 
family  which  appeared  quite  destitute  of  God.  Labored  to  discourse  with 
the  man  about  the  life  of  religion,  but  found  him  very  artful  in  evading 
such  conversation.  Oh,  what  a  death  it  is  to  some,  to  hear  of  the  things 
of  God!  Was  out  of  my  element,  but  was  not  so  dejected  as  at  some 

August  22.  Continued  my  course  up  the  river,  my  people  now  being 
with  me  who  before  were  parted  from  me.  Traveled  above  all  the  Eng- 
lish settlements  ;  at  night  lodged  in  the  open  woods,  and  slept  with  more 
comfort  than  while  among  an  ungodly  company  of  white  people.  Enjoyed 
some  liberty  in  secret  prayer  this  evening;  and  was  helped  to  remember 
dear  friends,  as  well  as  my  dear  flock,  and  the  church  of  God  in  general. 

Brainerd  returned  down  the  river  in  October,  weak  and  feeble 
from  exposure  in  the  outdoors,  never  again  to  return  to  his  be- 
loved work.     lie  died  in  New  England  in  the  following  October. 

Jones'  History  of  the  Juniata  Valley,  in  speaking  of  Indian  hos- 
tilities, says  : 

"That  they  had  many  fierce  and  sanguinary  struggles  among  themselves 
is  well  authenticated.  A  battle  almost  of  extermination  was  once  fought 
between  two  tribes  at  Juniata — now  known  as  Duncan's  Island — within 
the  memory  of  many  Indians  who  were  living  when  the  whites  settled 
among  them.  This  island  must  have  been  a  famous  battleground — a  very 
Waterloo — in   its  day.     When  the  canal   was  in  progress  of  construction, 


hundreds  of  skeletons  were  exhumed;  and  to  this  day  stone  arrowheads 
can  be   found  upon  almost  any  part  of  the  island." 

Rupp,  in  his  history,  recites  an  early  Indian  story  of  the  Bas- 
kins  family  having  been  furnished  the  information  by  Mitchell 
Steever,  Esq.,  of  Newport,  Pa.  The  William  Baskins  referred  to 
was  a  granduncle  to  the  late  Cornelius  and  James  Baskins,  who 
will  be  remembered  by  many  readers  of  this  volume  and  whose 
descendants  yet  reside  in  various  parts  of  the  county. 

It  appears  that  at  one  time  Baskins  had  a  crop  of  grain  matur- 
ing on  Duncan's  Island  while  the  Indians  were  on  a  rampage.  He 
had  previously  removed  his  family  to  Fort  Hunter  for  security, 
what  was  known  as  Fort  Hunter  in  those  days,  being  an  outpost 
opposite  to  the  present  town  of  Marysville.  With  part  of  his 
family  Baskins  had  returned  to  cut  his  grain.  While  engaged  in 
reaping  they  were  startled  by  a  war  whoop  close  by,  but  seeing 
neighboring  Indians  they  were  not  alarmed.  But  they  were  de- 
ceived, as  the  savages  soon  gave  them  to  understand  that  they  were 
after  scalps.  They  all  fled,  hotly  pursued,  toward  the  house,  but 
Mr.  Baskins,  caught  in  the  act  of  getting  his  gun,  was  shot  dead 
and  scalped.  His  wife,  a  son  of  three,  and  a  daughter  of  seven 
years  were  abducted.  A  man  named  McClean  was  also  in  the  field, 
but  pi  tinged  into  the  Juniata  and  swam  to  "Sheep  Island"  (above 
the  iron  bridge  on  the  Juniata)  and  concealed  himself  in  the  cleft 
of  some  rocks  on  the  far  side  and  thus  eluded  capture. 

As  a  captive  nearing  Carlisle  Mrs.  Baskins  escaped  from  the  In- 
dians. The  daughter  was  taken  to  the  Miami  country,  west  of  the 
Ohio,  then  an  unbroken  wilderness,  where  she  was  held  in  cap- 
tivity for  more  than  six  years,  when,  in  conformity  with  a  treaty 
made  with  the  Indians,  as  mentioned  in  a  previous  chapter  of  this 
hook,  she  was  returned.  She  later  married  a  man  named  John 
Smith,  whose  descendants  lived  in  Newport,  Pa.,  during  the  middle 
of  the  last  century.  The  lad,  who  was  captured  at  the  same  time, 
was  taken  to  Canada,  where  he  was  raised  by  Sir  William  John- 
ston, who  didn't  know  his  name  and  who  had  him  baptized  "Timo- 
thy Murphy." 

This  Baskins  lad  ("Timothy  Murphy")  had  a  venturesome  life. 
He  was  one  of  the  chief  riflemen  of  Morgan's  celebrated  sharp- 
shooters. At  the  battle  of  Bemis  Heights  Morgan  selected  a  few 
of  his  best  marksmen  and  directed  them  to  make  (General  Fraser, 
of  the  British  troops,  their  especial  target.  A  number  fired  with 
no  effect,  but  at  the  crack  of  Murphy's  gun  Fraser  fell. 

Shortly  after  the  battle  of  Monmouth,  three  companies  of  Mor- 
gan's troops  were  sent  into  Schoharie,  New  York.  Among  these 
-was  Murphy,  and  the  tories  set  an  extra  price  upon  his  scalp,  which 
it  was  never  necessary  to  pay,  although  many  Indians  tried  for  it. 
I  [e  had  grown  into  a  stout,  well-built  man,  with  jet-black  hair  and 


eyes  and  was  handsome.  While  the  tories  failed  to  get  him  here 
he  had  many  hairbreadth  escapes,  but  usually  in  the  nick  of  time 
something  turned  up  to  save  him.  At  one  time  he  possessed  a 
double-barreled  rifle,  an  unknown  weapon  to  the  Indians.  He 
was  being  chased  by  a  party,  and,  although  he  could  usually  get 
away,  now  they  were  gaining  on  him.  He  turned  and  shot  one 
and  succeeded  in  getting  behind  a  tree  where  he  quickly  reloaded 
the  empty  chamber.  As  they  again  gained  on  him  he  stopped  and 
shot  another,  but  they  resumed  the  chase,  desiring  to  capture  him 
alive  and  torture  him  before  a  slow  fire.  They  were  again  gaining 
and  in  despair  he  jumped  behind  a  tree,  and  as  they  advanced  shot 
a  third  one.  They  immediately  fled  and  in  after  years  "Murphy" 
learned  that  they  had  seen  him  fire  three  times  without  reloading 
and  that  they  thought  he  had  "a  great  medicine  of  a  gun  that  would 
shoot  forever." 

When  the  war  was  over,  "Murphy,"  true  to  the  characteristics 
of  his  forbears,  became  a  farmer.  Records  tell  of  his  death  occur- 
ring from  a  disease  contracted  while  saving  the  children  of  a  neigh- 
bor during  a  winter  flood. 

When  peace  was  declared  and  the  independence  of  the  colonies 
became  a  fact  many  of  the  Schoharie  Indians  returned  to  settle 
among  the  people  whose  buildings  they  had  burned  and  whose 
relatives  they  had  killed  and  scalped.  Of  the  worst  of  his  tribe 
was  an  Indian  named  Seths  Henry,  who  had  killed  more  than  any 
other  and  who  would  sometimes  leave  upon  a  dead  body  a  war 
club  containing  many  notches  cut  therefrom.  He  too  came  back 
and  one  day  started  to  call  on  the  different  settlers.  Not  un- 
strangely  "Murphy"  followed  him  and  there  is  no  record  to  show 
that  the  Indian  arrived  anywhere  in  this  world. 

Then,  there  began  strange  disappearances  of  tories  and  Indians 
and  coincident  there  was  always  a  fire  of  brush  in  the  same  vicin- 
ity in  which  might  have  been  found  their  ashes.  The  remaining 
renegades  and  savages  took  the  hint  and  left  the  community. 

Timothy  Murphy  became  a  wonderful  stump  speaker  and  a 
political  power  in  Schoharie  County.  He  brought  William  C. 
Bouck  into  public  life  and  later  to  the  gubernatorial  chair  of  New 
York.  His  mother,  the  widow  of  William  Baskins,  the  first  set- 
tler of  Duncan's  Island,  remarried,  her  second  husband  being 
Francis  Ellis.  He  established  a  ferry  across  the  Susquehanna  dur- 
ing the  Revolution  and  carried  on  the  business  for  many  years. 

After  the  Baskins  boy's  capture  by  the  Indians  he  was  first 
heard  of  through  Alexander  Stephens,  grandfather  of  Alexander 
H.  Stephens,  Vice-President  of  the  Confederacy,  and  father  of  the 
late  James  Stephens,  of  Juniata  Township,  by  a  peculiar  mark  on 
the  head.  He  later  visited  Perry  County  and  the  island  and  James 
Smith,  his  nephew,  when  in  Canada  during  the  War  of  1812,  vis- 


ited  him  near  a  place  called  Maiden,  and  found  him  to  he  the 
owner  of  a  large  estate. 

The  original  Clark's  Ferry  crossed  the  Susquehanna  at  a  point 
about  the  centre  of  Duncannon,  its  western  landing  being  at  the 
point  where  Clark's  run  empties  into  the  river.  The  Indians  had 
a  place  in  the  vicinity  where  they  forded  the  river,  which  they 
knew  as  "Queenashawakee."  The  Juniata  they  knew  as  "Choini- 
ata,"  or  "Juneauta."  In  1733  John  Harris,  who  had  a  lust  for 
land,  had  erected  a  cabin  and  cleared  some  fields  on  the  island  near 
"the  white  rock  on  the  riverside."  This  caused  a  complaint  by  the 
Indians.     This  was  on  Haldeman's  Island. 

At  a  Council  held  at  Philadelphia  Shikellamy,  the  Indian  chief, 
through  Conrad  Weiser,  the  interpreter,  asked  whether  the  pro- 
prietary government  had  heard  of  a  letter  which  he  and  Sassoonan 
had  sent  to  Harris,  asking  him  to  desist  from  making  a  plantation 
at  the  mouth  of  the  "Choinata,"  where  he  had  built  a  house  and 
was  clearing  fields.  They  were  informed  that  Harris  had  only 
built  that  house  for  carrying  on  trade ;  that  his  plantation  on 
which  were  houses  and  barns  was  Pextang  (now  Harrisburg), 
where  he  dwelt  and  from  which  he  was  not  supposed  to  remove, 
and  that  he  had  no  order  or  permit  to  make  a  settlement  on  the 
"Choinata."  Even  if  he  had  built  his  house  for  trading  purposes 
Shikellamy  said  "he  ought  not  to  have  cleared  fields."  He  was 
informed  that  Harris  had  probably  only  cleared  as  much  land  as 
was  needed  for  raising  corn  for  his  horses,  to  which  Shikellamy 
rejoined  that  he  "had  no  ill  will  to  John  Harris,  in  fact  it  was  not 
his  custom  to  bear  ill  will,  but  he  is  afraid  that  the  warriors  of  the 
Six  Nations,  when  they  pass  that  way,  may  take  it  ill  to  see  a  settle- 
ment made  on  lands  which  they  had  always  desired  to  be  kept 
free  from  settlement."  He  was  further  informed  that  care  would 
be  taken  to  issue  the  necessary  orders. 

In  1806  Robert  C.  Duncan,  a  son  of  the  celebrated  jurist, 
Thomas  Duncan,  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Pennsylvania  (having 
married  Rebecca  Hulings),  moved  to  Duncan's  Island,  where  he 
spent  the  remainder  of  his  days.  It  is  from  him  that  the  island 
takes  its  name.  His  brother  Stephen  resided  in  what  is  now  Perry 
County,  near  the  mouth  of  Sherman's  Creek,  and  was  the  founder 
of  the  Duncannon  Forges,  the  forerunner  of  the  Duncannon  Iron 
Company.  He  subsequently  removed  to  Washington,  D.  C,  where 
he  died.  Robert  C.  Duncan  had  two  sons,  one  of  whom  was  Dr. 
Thomas  Duncan,  born  in  18 14,  a  celebrated  physician  and  a  promi- 
nent member  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature.  The  other  was 
Benjamin  Stiles,  horn  in  1816,  who  went  to  Arkansas  in  his  boy- 
hood, where  he  resided  until  1858.  He  was  a  real  estate  operator 
and  laid  out  a  section  of  Arkadelphia,  which  is  known  to  this  day 
as  "the  Duncan  Addition,"  He  returned  to  Duncan's  Island  and 


engaged  in  fanning,  residing  in  the  house  in  which  he  was  horn 
until  his  death,  which  occurred  in  1870. 

Sherman  Day,  in  his  Historical  Collections  of  Pennsylvania 
(  [843)  pays  to  Mrs.  Duncan,  widow  of  the  late  proprietor  of 
Duncan's  Island,  the  following  tribute : 

"About  half  a  mile  above  the  village  (Benvenue),  Mrs.  Duncan, 
'  the  accomplished  widow  of  Robert  C.  Duncan,  still  resides  in  the 
family  mansion,  where  the  traveler  who  chooses  to  tarry  in  this 
delightful  region  may  find  accommodations — not  a  hotel,  with  its 
bar  and  bottles,  and  blustering  loafers;  but  in  a  comfortable,  well- 
furnished  gentleman's  home,  with  its  quiet  fireside,  and  books,  and 
intelligent  society  and  amiable  tea  table." 

The  old  register  of  this  hotel,  beginning  with  February  6,  1841, 
is  in  the  possession  of  Mr.  P.  F.  Duncan,  her  grandson,  and  is  a 
matter  of  much  curiosity  to  the  present  day  generation.  Travel 
was  then  either  overland  or  by  packet.  One  entry  reads  thus : 
"Rev.  Thomas  C.  Thornton  and  lady;"  also  four  children,  "all 
the  family  on  the  way  to  Clinton  College,  Mississippi."  On  an- 
other line  is  "Dr.  D.  L.  N.  Reutter,  residence,  Breach  at  Dun- 
can's Island."  Susan  Ickes  Harding,  a  daughter  of  Dr.  Jonas 
Ickes,  was  one  of  the  travelers.  Mrs.  Harding  later  became  a 
noted  philanthropist  in  Central  Illinois.  Another  name  of  interest 
is  that  of  Lucretia  Mott,  a  pioneer  in  woman's  suffrage,  "on  her 
way  to  Clearfield." 

Among  the  earlier  residents  of  the  island  during  the  past  cen- 
tury were  the  Garmans,  who  settled  there  in  1828,  Samuel  Gar- 
man,  long  ticket  agent  and  telegrapher  for  the  Northern  Central 
Railway  at  Clark's  Ferry  and  now  living  retired  at  Millersburg, 
being  a  descendant.  A  man  by  the  name  of  Updegraff  built  the 
"point  house"  in  1834.  This  was  the  house  where  the  late  J.  L. 
Clugston  lived,  he  who  long  kept  a  general  store  at  the  inlet  lock. 
The  Carpenter  family  came  from  Newport  in  "the  forties,"  and 
of  some  of  that  family  more  appears  in  the  chapter  devoted  to 
"River  and  Canal  Transportation."  Their  sons  who  grew  to  man- 
hood were  James,  John,  Thomas  and  George,  and  their  daughter, 
Elizabeth,  became  the  first  wife  of  Stiles  Duncan,  owner  at  that 
time  of  Duncan's  Island.  She  died  September  25,  1857,  aged 
twenty-four  years. 

The  channel  between  the  two  islands  once  was  deep  and  swift, 
but  years  of  constant  deposit  of  silt  has  left  it  far  less  deep  and 
its  waters  seem  not  nearly  so  swift  as  in  the  days  of  yore.  Dun- 
can's Island  has  gone  through  some  famous  flood  experiences,  of 
winch  there  is  an  account  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  Rivers  and 
Streams,  elsewhere  in  this  book. 

Both  Duncan's  and  Haldeman's  Islands  are  a  part  of  Reed 
Township,  Dauphin  County,  which  was  created  by  an  act  of  the 



Legislature  on  April  6,  1849.  It  was  named  in  honor  of  William 
Reed,  who  resided  midway  between  Clark's  Ferry  and  Halifax. 
Historically  there  appears  to  he  little  relating  separately  to  llalde- 
man's  Island.  It  was  named  for  one  of  the  early  owners.  It  is 
separated  from  Duncan's  Island  by  a  narrow  channel  and  unlike 
Duncan's  Island  it  is  not  of  alluvial  origin,  but  is  elevated  high 
above  the  neighboring  low-lying  lands.  It  comprises  775  acres, 
which  is  divided  into  five  farms  each  of  155  acres,  the  ownership 
of  which  remains  in  P.  F.  Duncan  (two  farms)  and  Mrs.  Mary 
Haldeman  Armstrong   (three  farms).     A.  Stephen  Duncan  once 


owned  the  Haldeman  Island  also,  but  sold  it  to  John  Haldeman 
for  $11,775.  It  was  then  known  as  Baskins'  Island.  It  was  first 
surveyed  in  1760. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth  and  the  beginning  of  the 
Nineteenth  Century,  before  the  era  of  internal  improvements  in 
the  state,  which  destroyed  our  fisheries,  these  islands  were  noted 
for  their  shad  fisheries,  where  great  catches  were  made. 

The  assessment  list  of  175 1  describes  everything  above  Peters' 
Mountain  as  "Narrows  of  Paxtang."  Those  on  and  around  the 
islands  at  that  time  were  Widow  Murray,  Robert  Armstrong, 
Thomas  Gaston,  William  Forster,  Thomas  Clark,  John  McKen- 
hedy,  Robert  Clark,  Thomas  Adams,  Albert  Adams,  John  Watt, 
William  Baskins,  George  Wells,  Francis  Glass,  George  Clark,  John 
Mecheltree,  Francis  Baskins  (trader),  John  Clark,  James  Reed, 
James  English,  John  Gevins,  John  Baskins,  Thomas  McKee,  and 


| (»hn  Kelton.     Charles  Williams  and  John  Lee  (trader)  are  desig- 
nated as  "Freemen."     John  Kelton  was  the  collector. 

The  dam  across  the  Susquehanna,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata, 
generally  known  as  the  Clark's  Ferry  Dam,  was  originally  known 
as  Green's  Dam,  by  reason  of  the  contractor's  name  having  been 
Abbott  Green.  Mr.  Green  was  born  at  Penn's  Creek,  Snyder 
County,  and  there  grew  to  manhood.  During  the  spring  seasons 
he  floated  rafts  down  the  river  and  thus  became  familiar  with  river 
traffic.  He  moved  to  Lewisburg  and  engaged  in  contracting  upon 
the  public  works  then  under  construction  by  the  state.  The  con- 
struction of  this  dam — in  that  period  a  noted  undertaking — was 
the  crowning  work  of  his  life. 

Duncan's  Island  Methodist  Church,  Rebecca  Duncan,  a  resi- 
dent of  Duncan's  Island,  at  a  very  early  day  of  Methodism,  opened 
her  home  for  the  preaching  of  that  "faith.  Through  her  efforts 
and  at  her  expense  the  school  board  later  added  a  second  story  to 
the  public  school  building,  which  she  donated  to  the  cause  for  the 
use  of  the  Methodists.  In  it  regular  services  were  conducted  until 
the  great  flood  of  1865,  when,  on  March  16th,  it  was  destroyed  by 
the  onrushing  waters.  The  word  was  preached  by  the  pastors  of 
the  Duncannon  charge.  At  various  times,  and  sometimes  for  long 
continuous  periods,  there  have  been  Sunday  school  sessions  of  an 
undenominational  character  held  in  the  public  school  building  on 
Duncan's  Island. 

The  Clark's  Ferry  Bridge.  The  building  of  the  Clark's  Ferry 
bridge  was,  in  that  day,  a  considerable  undertaking.  It  was  to 
span  the  Susquehanna  at  a  point  above  the  location  of  the  ferry 
conducted  by  the  Clarks,  and,  as  it  was  to  be  a  part  of  a  great 
highway  across  the  state,  men  from  five  counties  composed  the 
commission  which  was  organized  forks  erection.  The  commis- 
sioners appointed  for  that  purpose  were  as  follows:  Christian 
Gleim,  Archibald  M'Allister,  Innis  Green  and  Abraham  Gross,  of 
Dauphin  County;  Robert  Clark.  John  Boden,  and  Dr.  Samuel 
Mealy,  of  Cumberland  County  (then  including  Perry,  from  which 
section  these  three  men  came)  ;  William  Bell,  Lewis  Evans,  David 
Hidings,  Robert  Robinson,  and  John  Irwin,  of  Mifflin  County 
(then  including  Juniata);  William  -Steel,  Patrick  Gwinn,  and 
Maxwell  Kinkead,  of  Huntingdon  County,  and  James  Potter, 
John  Rankin,  and  John  Irwin  (Penn's  Valley),  of  Centre  County. 
The  commission  organized  on  Wednesday,  May  22,  181 8,  by 
electing  John  Boden,  chairman,  and  Christian  Gliem,  secretary. 
They  began  their  duties  by  holding  their  first  view  of  a  site  on 
June  3,  1818.  On  April  17,  1837,  a  span  of  the  bridge  gave  way 
and  one  end  lodged  upon  a  pier  and  could  not  easily  be  removed. 
It  was  then  set  on  fire  and  floated  down  the  river  as  it  fell,  a  mass 


of  flaming  timber.  Destruction  of  parts  of  the  bridge  by  fire  and 
flood  at  various  times  is  told  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  "Rivers 
and  Streams." 

While  to  the  present  generation  it  is  a  very,  very  ordinary  struc- 
ture, yet  it  is  described  in  a  noted  State  History  of  1844  as  "a 
wooden  bridge  on  the  Barr  plan,  resting  upon  many  piers,  the 
whole  constructed  with  an  elegance  and  strength  equal  to  if  not 
surpassing  any  public  work  in  the  country."  Harry  McKee  long 
kept  a  hotel  at  the  east  end  of  the  bridge  and  also  owned  the  first 
farm  below  the  point  of  Peters'  Mountain,  which  had  descended 
from  his  ancestor,  Thomas  McKee,  the  trader,  spoken  of  in  our 
Indian  chapters. 

When  the  Clark's  Ferry  bridge  burned  on  May  14.  1846,  the  de- 
struction being  credited  to  incendiarism,  an  arrest  was  made  and 
the  verdict  of  guilty  in  the  Dauphin  County  courts — for  both  land- 
ings of  the  bridge  are.  in  Dauphin  County — doomed  the  defendant 
to  a  term  of  years  in  the  Eastern  penitentiary,  although  he  then 
and  in  after  years  protested  his  innocence.  According  to  two  men 
who  have  long  resided  in  Perry  County,  one  (Jesse  M.  Pines)  re- 
cently passing  away,  his  contention  may  have  been  right.  The  inci- 
dent is  printed  here  for  that  reason  and  also  as  showing  methods 
of  travel,  etc. 

Many  years  afterwards,  over  forty  years  ago,  in  the  later  seven- 
ties, George  Boyer,  now  an  associate  judge  of  Perry  County,  and 
Jesse  Pines  took  an  extensive  horseback  ride  over  parts  of  central 
and  northen  Pennsylvania.  In  the  upper  part  of  the  state  in  a 
mountainous  section  known  as  Seven  Mountains,  above  Towanda, 
they  came  upon  a  mountain  tavern  near  a  place  known  as  Unity- 
ville,  where  they  stopped  for  lodging.  In  a  forlorn,  forsaken  sec- 
tion of  the  forest  they  took  turns  at  sleeping,  as  the  proprietor  and 
the  Negro  porter's  appearance  seemed  to  forbode  anything  but 
good.  They  were  the  only  occupants  of  the  hotel.  During  the  eve- 
ning one  of  the  travelers  chanced  to  refer  in  some  way  to  Clark's 
Ferry.  The  colored  fellow  became  agitated  and,  when  asked  if 
he  had  ever  been  there,  replied  that  he  had,  but  that  he  left  the 
night  that  the  bridge  burned.  Further  questioning  was  of  no  avail, 
as  all  efforts  to  get  him  to  say  another  word  about  Clark's  Ferry 
were  futile.     Why  did  he  leave  the  night  the  bridge  burned  ? 

The  Mining  of  River  Coal. 

Farther  up  the  Susquehanna  lay  the  rich  anthracite  coal  beds. 

From  them  for  generations  down  the  river  with  the  tide  drifted 

'  deposits  of  the  very  smaller  sizes  of  coal,  which  settled  in  various 

places  where  the  current  was  not  swift,  forming  coal  beds  upon  the 

river's   bottom.      When   coal    from   the   mines    was    selling   very 


cheaply  and  when  the  canals  were  hauling  it  at  a  very  low  rate  the 
mining  or  digging  of  this  coal  by  pumping  from  the  river  bed  would 
have  been  unprofitable  and  was  not  even  considered,  but  with  coal 
prices  going  up  annually  about  1890  there  sprang  up  a  business  of 
pumping  this  coal  by  suction,  and  several  outfits  followed  it  for 
years.  The  coal  is  from  the  Wilkes-Barre  and  Wyoming  districts, 
principally.  In  the  early  days  of  coal  mining,  sizes  smaller  than 
pea  were  thrown  to  the  huge  dumps  until  they  became  virtual 
mountains,  containing  millions  of  tons.  Many  of  them  were  lo- 
cated along  the  Susquehanna  and  contributary  streams,  and  from 
these  immense  culm  banks  spring  freshets  and  rainy  seasons  car- 
ried the  deposits  of  coal,  which  rivermen  say  exist  clear  to  the 
Chesapeake  Bay  and  at  some  places  have  been  found  to  be  five 
feet  in  depth. 

The  coal  operations  at  Green's  Dam,  commonly  known  as  the 
Clark's  Ferry  Dam,  commenced  in  the  vicinity  of  Benvenue  in 
1890.  Like  many  other  industries  it  began  in  a  small  way,  the 
coal  being  taken  out  by  hand  scoops  and  canoes,  followed  by  small 
flats  of  three-ton  capacity,  for  stove  use.  Shortly  after  Santo  & 
Pease,  of  Harrisburg,  arrived  with  a  steam  outfit,  with  which  they 
loaded  canal  boats  for  transportation  to  Harrisburg.  This  was 
followed  by  others  and,  in  [894,  a  Mr.  Squires,  a  Wilkes-Barre 
machinist,  built  and  put  in  operation  the  largest  plant  on  the  river, 
with  the  late  George  B.  Lukens  as  foreman.  This  plant  was  bought 
in  June,  1897,  by  B.  F.  Demaree,  a  Newport  business  man,  who 
retained  Mr.  Lukens,  and  added  four  fifty-ton  flats  to  the  plant. 
With  these  and  two  canal  boats  the  coal  was  conveyed  to  Harris- 
burg, where  it  was  largely  sold  to  the  public  utility  plants.  Rail 
shipments  followed  in  1902,  and  the  orders  were  at  times  for 
amounts  from  500  to  5,000  tons.  This  coal  found  its  way  to  such 
buyers  as  Dickinson  College,  the  Philadelphia  Rapid  Transit  Com- 
pany, the  Arbuckle  Coffee  Company,  etc.  The  beginning  of  the 
erection  of  the  stone  arch  railroad  bridge  across  the  Susquehanna 
near  Marysville  necessitated  the  closing  of  the  canal  and  the  end 
of  that  method  of  shipping.  The  Pennsylvania  Railroad  Company 
then  put  in  a  siding  near  Clark's  Ferry,  where  the  coal  was  loaded 
by  derricks,  operated  by  both  horse-power  and  steam.  With  in- 
creased automobile  traffic  the  State  Highway  Department  stopped 
the  swinging  of  derricks  over  the  highway,  and  it  became  necessary 
to  introduce  the  hydraulic  system  of  loading,  which  has  materially 
increased  the  output.  The  ice  flood  of  1919  made  a  breach  in  the 
dam  and  injured  the  coal  business  materially,  which  for  thirty 
years  flourished  there,  and  may,  eventually  mean  its  ending.  There 
has  been  an  annual  increase  in  the  production ;  in  1897  it  was  as 
little  as  8,000  tons,  while  in    1920  it  totaled   150,000  tons.     An 



average  of  thirty  men  have  been  employed  by  the  various  firms 
operating.  The  Demaree  plant  is  now  owited  by  Harry  V.  Lukens, 
who  purchased  it  in  1908.  Another  operator  is  H.  E.  Lukens,  his 
father,  who,  about  1899,  purchased  the  outfit  started  by  a  Mr. 
Seiler,  of  Dalmatia,  in  1893.  The  third  plant  still  in  the  business 
is  that  of  Hicks  Brothers,  of  Auburn,  Pennsylvania,  who  pur- 
chased out  the  plant  of  John  Zeigler,  about  1912,  which  he  had 
operated  as  early  as  190 1.  In  fact,  Mr.  Zeigler  and  John  Briner 
had  converted  an  old  river  steamer,  known  as  the  "Shad  Fly,"  into 
a  coal  dredge,  the  previous  year,  but  had  dissolved  partnership,  Mr. 
Briner  retaining  the  outfit,  but  retiring  from  the  business  about 

Bald  Eagle  Island. 

While  Bald  Eagle  Island  is  a  part  of  Dauphin  County,  yet  its 
location  in  the  Susquehanna  River  at  Montgomery's  Ferry  is  but 
a  few  hundred  feet  from  the  Perry  County  shore  line.  That  it  is 
a  part  of  Dauphin  County  comes  from  the  fact  that  the  county  line 
is  stated  in  the  act  creating  the  county  as  "to  the  westward  of  the 
Susquehanna."  The  order  of  survey  dated  October  23,  1809,  to 
George  Eckert,  "of  Strasburgh  Township,  and  county  of  Lancas- 
ter," and  John  Shura,  "of  the  township  of  Upper  Paxton,  and 
county  of  Dauphin,"  describes  it  as  "Bare  Island,  opposite  the  lands 
of  John  Huggins,  on  the  Cumberland  County  shore  and  about  a 
quarter  mile  below  Berry's  Falls  or  riffles."  It  is  signed  by  Gov- 
ernor Snyder,  the  third  governor  of  Pennsylvania.  Through  this 
earliest  of  records  one  learns  the  fact  that  it  was  once  known  as 
Bare  Island.  It  is  now  owned  by  Mr.  James  D.  Bowman,  of  Mil- 
lersburg,  who  has  a  fishing  lodge  there,  which  was  erected  by  Mr. 
Christian  S.  Albright,  about  1902,  and  which  he  remodeled  and 
enlarged  in  1909.  Mr.  Bowman  is  an  adept  fisherman  and  seldom 
fails  to  furnish  to  the  many  large  and  joyous  gatherings  assembled 
there  at  his  command,  a  luncheon  of  black  bass. 

Bald  Eagle  Island  has  long  been  a  source  for  finding  many  In- 
dian relics,  which  would  imply  that  it  was  probably  an  Indian 
camping  ground.  From  an  Indian  standpoint  it  possessed  two 
distinct  advantages;  one  being  the  lookout  both  up  and  down  the 
river,  and  the  other  that  it  was  an  ideal  fishing  ground,  which  it 
still  is.  There  was  also  an  early  fording  here,  the  width  of  the 
river  at  this  point  during  low  water  being  not  over  five-eighths  of 
a  mile.  The  island  contains  approximately  five  acres,  not  includ- 
ing the  sand  bar  at  the  north  end.  A  third  of  a  century  ago  the 
Harrisburg  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  used  it  as  their 
annual  camping  ground.  The  name  Bald  Eagle  was  given  to  the 
island  by  reason  of  the  fact  that  there  once  stood  on  it  a  large  and 
high  pine  tree,  on  which  for  many  years  the  eagles  had  their  nests 


and  hatched  their  young.  The  tree  was  blown  down,  but  the  stump 
of  it  remained  as  late  as  1899.  There  and  at  Mt.  Patrick,  that  high 
and  steep  end  of  Berry  Mountain — about  a  mile  north — these  birds 
bred  and  reared  their  young  for  many  years.  Since  the  pine  tree 
is  no  more  they  still  have  their  habitat  at  Mt.  Patrick,  and  during 
the  summer  of  19 19  Mr.  Bowman,  the  owner  of  the  island,  ob- 
served six  of  them,  while  during  1920  he  could  locate  but  one  pair. 
He  has  often  seen  them  dart  from  the  air  at  great  speed  and  dive 
for  fish,  almost  always  with  success,  coming  up  with  a  large  fish 
in  their  talons.  One  of  the  largest  of  the  eagles  in  the  Zoological 
Gardens  at  Philadelphia  for  many  years  was  captured  at  Berry's 
Falls,  above  the  island  and  below  Mt.  Patrick,  having  hurt  its  wing 
in  diving  for  fish.  Just  below  this  point  is  where  William  Mont- 
gomery established  his  ferry,  soon  after  1827,  the  village  there 
still  bearing  that  name.  On  the  Dauphin  County  side  this  ferry 
was  known  as  Morehead's. 


Landscape   showing   the   junction   of   the   Juniata   and    Susquehanna   Rivers,    the    Clark's 

Ferry   Dam  and   Bridge,  and   Duncan's   Island. 


WHO  the  first  white  man  was  that  set  foot  upon  the  soils  of 
present  Perry  County  must  forever  remain  a  mystery,  for 
there  were  no  records  kept  of  matters  of  that  nature. 
However,  it  must  have  been  some  trader  or  adventurer.  In  the 
davs  of  the  early  settlement  of  the  province  the  Indians  even  from 
afar  journeyed  to  the  seaboard  to  trade  with  the  newcomers.  The 
skins  and  furs  they  brought  became  so  valuable  abroad  that,  many 
years  before  settlements  in  the  interior  were  even  dreamed  of,  the 
trader  traveled  the  fastnesses  of  the  mountains  and  ascended  the 
rivers  in  quest  of  gain.  Often  the  worst  class  of  men  went  into 
the  business  of  trading  and  penetrating  the  forests,  built  up  a 
business  with  the  Indians. 

There  is  record  of  James  LeTort,  a  trader  who  "went  out"  from 
Carlisle  as  early  as  1727.  As  the  "Allegheny  Path"  was  the  route 
of  travel  to  "Allegheny  on  the  branch  of  the  Ohio,"  where  he 
traded,  he  was  evidently  among  the  first  white  men  to  travel  this 
territory.  LeTort's  date  of  settlement  at  Carlisle  is  said  to  have 
been  in  1720.  By  1735  there  were  over  twenty  regular  traders 
journeying  back  and  forth  across  the  county  to  the  Ohio 

In  fact,  even  earlier — as  early  as  1704,  Joseph  Jessup,  James 
LeTort,  Peter  Bazalion,  Martin  Chartier  and  Nocholas  Goden,  all 
Frenchmen,  were  traders  with  the  Indians  on  the  Susquehanna 
and  with  those  west  of  the  Alleghenies,  via  the  old  Indian  trail, 
supposed  even  then  to  have  been  the  "Allegheny  Path." 

That  traders  even  carried  on  a  traffic  in  rum  at  that  early  day  is 
substantiated  by  a  protest  made  July  23,  1727,  at  a  council  held  at 
Philadelphia  by  the  Chiefs  of  the  Five  Nations,  with  Madame 
Montour  as  interpreter.    It  follows : 

"They  desire  that  there  may  be  no  settlements  made  up  Susquehannah 
higher  than  Pextan  (now  Harrisburg),  and  that  none  of  the  settlers  there- 
abouts be  suffered  to  sell  or  keep  any  rum  there,  for  that  being  the  road 
by  which  their  people  go  out  to  war,  they  are  apprehensive  of  mischief  if 
they  meet  with  liquor  in  these  parts.  They  desire  also,  for  the  same  rea- 
sons, that  none  of  the  traders  be  allowed  to  carry  any  rum  to  the  remoter 
parts  where  James  Letort  trades,  that  is  Allegheny,  on  the  branch  of  the 
Ohio.  And  this  they  desire  may  be  taken  notice  of,  as  the  minds  of  the 
chiefs  of  all  the  Five  Nations,  for  it  is  all  those  nations  that  now  speak 
by  them  to  all  our  people." 

After  considering  the  matter  over  night  the  governor,  on  the 
following  day,  replied,  through  the  same  interpreter : 



"We  have  not  hitherto  allowed  any  settlement  to  be  made  above  Pextan, 
but,  as  the  young  people  grow  up,  they  will  spread,  of  course,  yet  it  will 
not  be  very  speedily.  The  governor,  however,  will  give  orders  to  them  all 
to  be  civil  to  those  of  the  Five  Nations,  as  they  pass  that  way,  though  it 
would  be  better  if  they  would  pass  Susquehannah  above  the  mountains. 
The  sale  of  rum  shall  be  prohibited  both  there  and  at  Allegheny;  but  the 
woods  are  so  thick  and  dark  we  cannot  see  what  is  done  in  them.  The 
Indians  may  stave  any  rum  they  find  in  the  woods,  but,  as  has  been  said, 
they  must  not  drink  or  carry  any  away." 

These  old  documents  are  the  basis  for  the  inference  that  pio- 
neers were  even  then  presuming  to  settle  above  the  Kittatinny  or 
Blue  Mountain;  at  least,  the  Indians  were  apprehensive  and  were 
early  going  on  record  as  opposed  to  any  such  aggression. 

More  than  one  of  these  traders  had  ulterior  motives.  The 
French  and  the  English  were  contending  for  the  lands  of  the  great 
West,  and  to  the  Quaker — who  largely  ruled  the  province — it  be- 
came almost  a  necessity,  owing  to  religious  convictions  and  per- 
sonal interests,  that  traders'  licenses  be  given  only  to  English  set- 
tlers and  traders  and  to  those  of  the  Protestant  faith,  barring  the 
French  Papists  and  with  them  communication  to  the  French  on  the 

The  traders  carried  their  goods  on  packhorses  and  the  Indians 
were  an  easy  prey  to  their  cupidity  and  avarice.  In  fact,  many  of 
the  early  troubles  of  the  province  were  reaped  by  reason  of  seed 
sown  by  unprincipled  and  inconsiderate  traders.  Among  promi- 
nent early  traders  were  George  Croghan,  Thomas  McKee,  Jack 
Armstrong,  Francis  Ellis,  and  William  Baskins. 

Of  Three  Provincials. 

So  closely  were  three  early  interpreters  associated — one  the  first 
authorized  settler  of  the  territory  which  now  embraces  Perry 
County — with  the  provincial  life  of  the  district  that  it  is  deemed 
expedient  to  briefly  give  a  few  facts  about  them  and  their  actions 
during  that  important  epoch  of  Pennsylvania  life,  when  "the  bor- 
der" was  the  term  used  in  referring  to  the  lands  along  the  Kitta- 
tinny or  Blue  Mountains..  The  names  of  Conrad  Weiser,  George 
Croghan,  and  Andrew  Montour  are  inseparably  associated  with  the 
pioneer  life  of  the  section,  as  well  as  of  the  province  in  general. 

Conrad  Weiser,  the  Diplomatic  Interpreter. 
Conrad  Weiser,  of  all  the  Indian  interpreters  who  were  inter- 
ested in  this  territory,  was  the  most  prominent.  In  fact,  he  was 
the  most  prominent  in  the  provincial  annals  of  Pennsylvania. 
That  he  crossed  and  recrossed  the  county's  territory  via  the  old 
Indian  trail  past  Gibson's  Rock  there  is  evidence.  He  kept  a  diary, 
and  in  August,  1754,  he  stopped  at  Andrew  Montour's,  the  fol- 
lowing entry  being  dated  September  1  of  that  year: 



"Crossed  the  Kittatinny  Mountains  at  George  Croghan's  (now  Ster- 
rett's)  Gap  and  Sherman's  Creek,  and  arrived  that  day  at  Andrew  Mon- 
tour's, accompanied  (from  Harris'  Ferry)  by  himself,  the  half-king,  an- 
other Indian  and  my  son.  I  found  at  Andrew  Montour's  about  fifteen  In- 
dians, men,  women  and  children,  and  more  had  been  there,  but  had  gone. 

"Andrew's  wife  had  killed  a  sheep  for  these  some  days  ago.  She  com- 
plained that  the  Indians  had  done  great  damage  to  the  Indian  corn,  which 
was  now  ready  to  roast." 

Weiser  had  much  to  do  with  the  Indian  affairs  which  attended 
the  early  settlement  of  Perry  County  soil.  Three  different  pro- 
vincial governors  had  entrusted  him  with  manifold  Indian  affairs 
where  diplomacy  was  required  and  Weiser,  the  peacemaker,  had 
succeeded.  What  William  Penn  preached  about  treating  the  In- 
dians squarely  Conrad  Weiser  practiced.  Had  he  not  induced  the 
Five  Nations  to  remain  neutral,  and  had  they  cast  their  lot  with 
the  French  the  chances  are  that  to-day  we  would  be  a  French  de- 
pendency, as  the  occasion  for  the  Revolution  might  not  have  arisen, 
and  we  would  have  likely  remained  a  more  or  less  weak  French 
dependency  instead  of  a  virile  English-speaking  nation  which  soon 
became  independent.  When  George  Washington  came  to  Berks 
County  in  1760  to  attend  the  funeral  of  Conrad  Wreiser,  the  future 
father  of  his  country  stood  at  the  open  grave  and  made  the  re- 
mark, "Here  lies  a  man  whom  posterity  will  never  forget." 
Weiser  was  a  farmer,  an  interpreter,  a  trader  and  a  merchant, 
having  a  store  in  Reading.  As  he  was  so  great  a  factor  in  the  In- 
dian negotiations  relating  to  the  Perry  County  territory  it  is 
deemed  .expedient  to  give  this  concise  account  in  this  book. 

He  was  born  in  Germany  in  1696,  and  came  to  America  with  his 
parents  during  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne,  when  fourteen  years  of 
age.  His  father  was  a  blacksmith  and  lived  on  the  Mohawk  River, 
near  a  settlement  of  the  Mohawk  Indians.  Conrad  was  sent  by  his 
father  to  reside  with  an  Indian  named  Tajuajanont,  that  he  might 
learn  the  Indian  tongue.  He  became  popular  with  the  Indians  and 
obtained  great  influence  over  them  even  as  a  boy.  When  twenty- 
six  he  was  adopted  by  the  family  of  the  Turtles,  a  distinctive  caste. 
In  1729  he  came  to  Pennsylvania,  and  for  the  remaining  thirty 
years  of  his  life  he  was  connected  with  the  provincial  government 
of  Pennsylvania  as  an  interpreter.  He  made  his  home — but  he 
was  seldom  there — at  Heidelberg,  in  Lancaster  (now  Berks ) 
County.  His  duties  kept  him  continually  going  to  the  most  distant 
localities,  and  sometimes  farther  than  the  boundaries  of  the  prov- 
ince, to  attend  conferences  with  the  Indians,  principally  the  Six 
Nations.  As  a  man  of  honor  and  trust  he  had  the  implicit  confi- 
dence of  both  the  settlers  and  the  Indians.  He  was  withal,  adroit, 
skillful  and  diplomatic. 

In  March,  1748,  instructions  were  given  to  Weiser  for  a  pro- 
jected trip  to  the  Ohio,  the  object  being  to  cement  further  the  good- 


will  of  the  Indians  for  the  English.  As  he  was  ready  for  depar- 
ture the  Provincial  Council  sent  for  him  and  delayed  the  trip. 
George  Croghan  was  ready  with  twenty  pack  horses  laden  with 
goods  for  the  Indians  and,  on  learning  of  Weiser's  detention,  went 
alone,  but  returned  in  time  to  accompany  him  later  in  the  summer 
on  his  mission.  It  was  August  1 1  before  Weiser  finally  got  started 
from  Heidelberg,  and  he  undertook  the  trip  with  misgivings,  as  he 
considered  it  a  perilous  journey,  and  only  the  necessity  caused  him 
to  go  at  all.     On  this  trip  he  passed  over  the  famous  "Allegheny 


Photo    by    Win.   A.    liberty. 
This  road   is  on   the  old   "Allegheny  Path"   of  Indian   Days.     The   part   shown   is  within 
a  quarter-mile  of  the  historic   Gibson    Mill,  where   Chief  Justice  John    Bannister   Gibson 

was  born. 

Path,"  that  old  Indian  trail  which  crossed  Perry  County  territory 
to  the  great  West.  In  a  letter  to  Richard  Peters,  secretary  of  the 
province,  dated  "Tuscarora  Path,  August  15,  1748,"  he  says, 
among  other  things:  "I  may  be  obliged  to  pay  the  debt  of  human 
nature  before  I  get  home,"  which  shows  that  his  duties  must  have 
been  of  a  telling  nature,  as  he  was  then  but  fifty-two  years  of  age. 
However,  he  escaped  such  misfortune  and  lived  over  a  decade, 
dying  in  1760.  While  traders  crossed  this  "path"  before,  yet  Con- 
rad Weiser  is  the  first  white  man  to  visit  Perry  County  soil  who 
has  left  a  record  of  it. 

For  his  first  employment  as  an  interpreter,  in  1731,  he  was  al- 
loted  forty  shillings  as  payment.  When  Reading,  Pennsylvania, 
was  laid  out,  in    1748,   Conrad   Weiser   was  appointed  one  of  the 


commissioners  for  that  purpose,  and  built  a  house  and  store  there 
which  stood  until  recent  years.    One  of  the  men  who  accompanied 

Weiser  on  one  of  these  trips  through  Perry  County  territory  is 
named  as  William  Franklin,  a  son  of  Benjamin  Franklin,  and  who 
later  became  governor  of  New  Jersey. 

George  Croghan,  Trader  and  Interpreter. 

Of  the  men  who  had  much  to  do  with  Indian  affairs  in  what  is 
now  Perry  County,  next  in  importance  to  Conrad  Weiser  stood 
George  Croghan,  the  trader  and  interpreter.  He  was  an  Irishman 
by  birth  and  came  to  this  country  in  1742,  stopping  at  the  Harris 
Ferry  (now  Harrisburg)  for  a  while.  Soon  after  becoming  an 
Indian  trader  he  located  in  Cumberland  County,  near  what  is  now 
Hogestown,  and  about  eight  miles  from  Harris'  Ferry.  He  first 
traded  in  a  rather  restricted  district,  the  limits  of  which  were  to 
Aughwick  (near  Mt.  Union)  and  Path  Valley,  later  going  as  far 
as  the  Ohio  River.  As  early  as  June,  1747,  he  is  mentioned  "as 
a  considerable  trader."  His  long  residence  among  Indians  enabled 
him  to  become  thoroughly  familiar  with  both  the  life  and  the  habits 
of  the  Delaware  and  Shawanese  tribes.  For  that  reason  he  became 
invaluable  to  the  province.  Later  on  he  is  supposed  to  have  lived 
at  Sterrett's  Gap  for  a  time,  as  the  gap  was  long  known  as  Cro- 
ghan's.    Afterwards  he  removed  to  Aughwick. 

His  first  letter  while  in  the  employ  of  the  province  is  dated 
"May  26th,  1747,"  and  is  addressed  to  Richard  Peters,  secretary 
of  the  province.  With  it  he  enclosed  a  letter  from  the  Six  Nations, 
some  wampum  and  a  French  scalp  taken  along  Lake  Erie. 

Governor  Hamilton,  in  a  letter  to  Governor  Hardy,  dated  July 
5,  1756,  in  speaking  of  Croghan,  who  was  at  one  time  suspected  of 
being  a  spy  in  the  pay  of  the  French,  says: 

"There  are  many  Indian  traders  with  Braddock— Croghan  among  others, 
who  acted  as  a  captain  of  the  Indians  under  a  warrant  from  General 
Braddock,  and  I  never  heard  of  any  objections  to  his  conduct  in  that 
capacity.  For  many  years  he  had  been  very  largely  concerned  in  the  Ohio 
trade,  was  upon  that  river  frequently,  and  had  a  considerable  influence 
among  the  Indians,  speaking  the  language  of  several  nations,  and  being 
very  liberal,  or  rather,  profuse,  in  his  gifts  to  them,  which,  with  the  losses 
he  sustained  by  the  French,  who  seized  great  quantities  of  his  goods,  and 
by  not  getting  the  debts  due  him  from  the  Indians,  he  became  bankrupt, 
and  since  has  lived  at  a  place  called  Aughwick,  in  the  back  parts  of  the 
province,  where  he  generally  had  a  number  of  the  Indians  with  him,  for 
the  maintenance  of  whom  the  province  allowed  him  sums  of  money  from 
time  to  time,  but  not  to  his  satisfaction.  After  this  he  went,  by  my  order, 
with  these  Indians,  and  joined  General  Braddock,  who  gave  the  warrant 
I  have  mentioned. 

"Since  Braddock's  defeat,  he  returned  to  Aughwick,  where  he  remained 
till  an  act  of  assembly  was  passed  here  granting  him  a  freedom  of  arrest 
for  ten  years.  This  was  done  that  the  province  might  have  the  benefit  of 
his  knowledge  of   the   woods   and  his   influence   among  the   Indians;    and 


immediately  thereupon,  while  I  was  last  at  York,  a  captain's  commission 
was  given  to  him,  and  he  was  ordered  to  raise  men  for  the  defense  of  the 
western  frontier,  which  he  did  in  a  very  expeditious  manner,  but  not  so 
frugally  as  the  commissioners  for  disposing  of  the  public  money  thought 
he  might  have  done.  He  continued  in  the  command  of  one  of  the  com- 
panies he  had  raised,  and  of  Fort  Shirley,  on  the  western  frontier,  about 
three  months  ;  during  which  time  he  sent  by  my  direction  Indian  messen- 
gers to  the  Ohio  for  intelligence,  but  never  produced  me  any  that  was  very 
material;  and  having  a  dispute  with  the  commissioners  about  some  ac- 
counts between  them,  in  which  he  thought  himself  ill-used,  he  resigned 
his  commission,  and  about  a  month  ago  informed  me  that  he  had  not  re- 
ceived pay  upon  General  Braddock's  warrant,  and  desired  my  recommen- 
dation to  General  Shirley,  which  I  gave  him,  and  he  set  off  directly  for 
Albany;    and  I  hear  he  is  now  at  Onondago  with  Sir  William  Johnston." 

On  his  return  from  the  Johnston  conference  he  bore  a  commis- 
sion as  a  deputy  agent  of  Indian  affairs. 

Croghan  had  settled  permanently  at  Aughwick  in  1754  and  had 
built  the  fort  and  stockade  there.  He  was  appointed  by  the  prov- 
ince, in  1755,  to  locate  three  forts  in  what  was  then  Cumberland 
County — one  at  Patterson's,  on  the  Juniata;  one  at  or  near  Lewis- 
town,  to  be  known  as  Fort  Granville,  and  one  at  Sideling  Hill,  now 
Bedford  County.  He  recruited  men  and  garrisoned  them  very 
quickly.  In  December  of  1754  he  had  written  Secretary  Peters, 
asking  that  no  one  sell  liquor  to  the  Indians  on  account  of  the 
bad  consequences,  but  admitting  that  he  gave  them  a  keg  once  a 
month  for  a  frolic.  As  an  official  he  was  noted  for  promptness. 
After  the  evacuation  of  Fort  Pitt  we  find  Croghan  there  for  a 
while.  On  a  trip  down  the  Ohio  the  French  captured  him  and 
took  him  to  Detroit.  When  liberated  he  returned  to  New  York. 
He  died  in  1782.  In  March,  1749,  he  was  appointed  a  justice  of 
the  peace  of  Lancaster  County,  to  which  the  soil  of  Cumberland 
yel  belonged.  In  1748  there  is  record  of  him  having  a  trading 
house  on  the  Ohio.  Croghan  and  Andrew  Montour  were  largely 
associated  in  business. 

France  claimed  the  vast  country  west  of  the  Alleghenies,  watered 
by  the  Ohio  and  Mississippi  Rivers,  and  was  attempting  to  estab- 
lish her  claim  by  locating  military  posts  from  the  great  lakes  to 
the  Mississippi  and  along  the  Ohio  and  Allegheny  Rivers.  The 
Indian  tribes  were  numerous  and  war-like.  Croghan  saw  the  im- 
portance of  detaching  them  from  the  French  by  means  of  presents 
and  the  most  favorable  trading  terms.  His  suggestions  were  wisely 
heeded  by  the  Provincial  Council.  He  had  a  thorough  knowledge 
of  all  the  Indian  trails  and  the  territory  of  the  tribes  between  the 
Susquehanna  and  the  Ohio.  At  Carlisle,  on  April  4,  1756,  he  filed 
an  account  of  his  "losses  occasioned  by  the  French  and  Indians 
driving  the  English  traders  off  the  Ohio."  While  two  of  the  items 
of  probable  great  value  have  no  actual  valuation  named,  those  which 
do  total  881  pounds. 


( )n  I une  27,  1767,  Croghan  and  two  kinsmen  petitioned  the  New 
York  Council,  on  behalf  of  themselves  and  others,  to  purchase 
40,000  acres  of  land  between  Otsego  Lake  and  "Caniadcuagy" 
Lake,  and  between  the  head  branches  of  the  Susquehanna.     On 

November  25,  1767,  a  return  was  made  of  a  survey  for  him  and 
his  associates  for  100,000  acres. 

In  fact,  the  journals  of  George  Croghan  are  an  epitome  of  the 
Indian  history  of  the  period.  In  1750,  according  to  it,  he  was  on 
the  Ohio,  enroute  to  the  Shawnee  towns ;  the  next  season  he  out- 
witted Joincaire  on  the  Allegheny.  In  1754  he  was  on  the  Ohio, 
after  Washington  had  passed,  and  in  1760-61  he  was  on  a  trip  to 
Detroit,  via  Lake  Erie,  in  the  company  of  Roger's  Rangers.  In 
1765  he  toured  down  the  Ohio  towards  Illinois  and  was  captured 
by  Ouiatanon,  later  making  peace  with  Pontiac  and  returning. 

Next  to  Sir  William  Johnson,  George  Croghan  was  the  most 
prominent  figure  among  the  British  Indian  agents  during  the  pe- 
riod of  the  later  French  wars  and  Pontiac's  conspiracy.  A  pio- 
neer trader,  traveler  and  government  agent,  no  other  man  of  his 
time  knew  as  much  of  the  coming  great  West  and  the  counter  cur- 
rents, intrigues,  etc.,  connected  therewith.  It  was  as  deputy  of  Sir 
William  Johnson  that  he  conducted  the  difficult  negotiations  at 
Fort  Pitt  and  Detroit  in  1758-61  and  those  in  Illinois  in  1765,  by 
which  Pontiac  was  brought  to  terms.  His  winning  adherents  for 
the  English  among  the  wavering  allies  of  the  French,  beyond  the 
bounds  of  the  province,  at  Sandusky  and  Lake  Erie,  was  but  one 
of  his  diplomatic  feats.  He  first  won  the  attention  of  Conrad 
Weiser,  who  recommended  him  to  the  provincial  authorities,  where 
his  first  service  began  in  1747,  continuing  through  the  active  years 
of  his  life.  At  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution  he  appeared  as  a 
patriot,  but  later  became  the  object  of  suspicion,  and  in  1778  he 
was  proclaimed  officially  by  the  colony  as  a  public  enemy. 

Andrew  Montour,  First  Authorized  Settler. 

Andrew  Montour  was  the  first  authorized  settler  of  the  lands 
which  now  comprise  Perry  County.  He  was  a  half-breed,  the  old- 
est son  of  Madame  Montour,  and  the  brother  of  the  celebrated 
Catharine  Montour.  There  was  a  conference  held  at  George  Cro- 
ghan's  (Sterrett's  Gap)  in  May,  1750.  and  among  those  present 
were  Richard  Peters,  secretary  of  the  province ;  Conrad  Weiser, 
James  Galbreath,  George  Stevenson,  William  Wilson,  Hermanns 
Alricks,  George  Croghan,  Andrew  Montour,  three  Indian  delegates 
from  the  Five  Nations,  and  one  from  the  Mohawks,  when  the  ef- 
fort was  made  to  drive  from  the  lands  north  of  the  Kittatinny 
Mountain  those  who  had  settled  there,  the  territory  not  having  as 
yet  been  purchased  from  the  Indians. 


They  were  driven  from  the  lands  on  which  they  had  settled,  and 
on  April  18,  1752,  Andrew  Montour  was  commissioned  by  the 
governor  to  settle  and  reside  upon  these  Indian  lands,  the  Indians 
on  July  2,  1750,  having  petitioned  for  such  occupation,  and  ar- 
rangements having  been  made  with  them  for  such  occupation,  at 
a  place  considered  most  central,  to  see  that  the  lands  were  not  set- 
tled upon  and  to  warn  off  any  who  had  presumed  to  settle  there. 
He  was  also  to  report  the  names  of  any  who  did  settle  there  that 
they  might  be  prosecuted.  He  chose  to  settle  on  a  stream  which  to 
this  day  bears  his  name,  Montour's  run,  flowing  through  Tyrone 
Township.  Just  how  honest  Montour  was  in  fulfilling  this  respon- 
sible position  is  a  matter  of  conjecture,  but  there  is  evidence  that 
the  Indians  were  still  protesting  a  year  later  at  a  Carlisle  council 
about  encroachments.  In  fact,  Montour  was  not  only  suspected 
by  the  provincial  authorities  of  neglecting  his  duty  here,  but  he- 
was  on  more  than  one  occasion  suspected  of  double  dealing  with 
the  Indians  of  the  West  and  the  province. 

He  was  present  at  the  conference  at  George  Croghan's  probably 
in  the  capacity  of  an  interpreter  for  Tohonady  Huntho,  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  Mohawks  from  Ohio,  for  he  was  an  expert  in- 
terpreter, speaking  the  language  of  the  various  Ohio  tribes  as  well 
as  the  Iroquois.  His  name  will  be  found  in  our  Indian  chapters. 
He  was  an  interpreter  and  later  a  trader.  Hanna,  in  The  Wilder- 
ness Trail,  says:  "Madame  Montour  and  her  son,  Andrew  Mon- 
tour, were  the  most  picturesque  characters  in  the  colonial  history 
of  Pennsylvania." 

There  is  evidence  that  William  Patterson,  John  and  Joseph 
Scott,  James  Kennedy,  Alexander  Roddy,  Thomas  Wilson  and 
<  'hers  bad  located  in  Sherman's  Valley  during  1753,  not  a  great 
distance  from  the  Montour  place,  but  whether  he  notified  the  au- 
thorities is  not  known,  but  it  is  a  fact  that  be  brought  in  his 
brother-in-law,  William  Dason,  and  allowed  him  to  locate  a  claim, 
according  to  an  affidavit  of  William  Patterson  some  years  there- 

His  mother,  the  famous  Madame  Montour,  was  not  a  daughter 
of  a  governor  of  Canada,  as  sometimes  stated.  Her  father, 
Pierre  Couc,  a  Frenchman,  emigrated  to  Canada.  By  an  Indian 
wife  lie  had  a  number  of  children,  some  of  whom  took  the  name 
of  Montour.  In  1694  bis  son,  Lewis  Couc.  or  Montour,  was  se- 
verely wounded  by  the  Mohawks,  near  Fort  Lamotte,  on  Lake 
Champlain.  Madame  Montour  (a  daughter  of  Lewis),  then  a 
ten-year-old  girl,  is  supposed  to  have  been  captured  at  this  time 
by  the  Five  Nations  and  adopted.  Her  first  appearance  in  history 
is  at  an  Albany  conference,  August  24,  171 1,  where  she  acted  as 
interpreter.  She  seems  to  have  been  educated.  She  married 
Carondowana,  or  the  "Big  Tree,"  who  had  adopted  the  name  of 


Robert  Hunter,  governor  of  New  York.  He  was  of  the  Oneida 
tribe,  a  great  captain  of  the  Five  Nations,  and  fell  at  the  hands  of 
the  Catawbas  in  1729.  When  a  treaty  was  made  in  Philadelphia  in 
1734  the  proprietess  of  the  province  publicly  condoled  with  the 
widow — a  rather  belated  function,  as  viewed  in  our  day.  She 
was  handsome  and  spoke  French,  being  the  object  of  some  social 
activity  while  in  Philadelphia.  Her  duplicity  later  became  apparent 
to  the  provincial  authorities. 

The  settlement  of  Andrew  Montour  on  Montour's  run  was 
never  surveyed  to  him,  although  he  took  out  a  warrant  for  143 
acres  adjoining  the  site  of  Landisburg.  By  a  warrant  dated  July 
11,  1761,  he  was  granted  1,500  acres  of  land  on  the  Juniata  River 
in  what  is  now  Mifflin  County.  He  took  it  in  two  separate  tracts, 
the  aggregate  of  which  was  over  2,500  acres.  His  Indian  name 
was  Sattelihu.  In  1753  the  French  had  set  a  price  of  £100  on  his 
head.  In  the  French  and  Indian  War  he  was  a  captain  of  a  com- 
pany of  Indians  on  the  English  side.  He  accompanied  Conrad 
Weiser  on  his  mission  to  the  settlements  of  the  Six  Nations.  He 
was  for  almost  forty  years  in  the  service  of  Pennsylvania,  Vir- 
ginia, and  under  Sir  William  Johnson.  He  often  accompanied  the 
Moravian  missionaries,  Count  Zinzendorf  and  Bishop  Spangen- 
burg,  to  the  Indian  towns.  To  Count  Zinzendorf  posterity  is  in- 
debted for  a  pen  picture  of  Andrew  Montour.  His  description : 
"His  face  is  like  that  of  a  European,  but  marked  with  a  broad 
Indian  ring  of  bear's  grease  and  paint  drawn  completely  around  it. 
He  wears  a  coat  of  fine  cloth  of  cinnamon  color,  a  black  necktie 
with  silver  spangles,  a  red  satin  vest,  pantaloons,  over  which  hangs 
his  shirt ;  shoes  and  stockings,  a  hat  and  brass  ornaments,  some- 
thing like  the  handle  of  a  basket,  suspended  from  his  ears."  He 
died  prior  to  1775. 

Andrew  Montour's  first  wife  was  a  daughter  of  Allumoppies, 
King  of  the  Delawares.  The  Province  of  Pennsylvania  educated 
his  children  in  Philadelphia  as  proteges  of  Governor  Robert 
1  funter  Morris.  These  were  the  first  children  to  be  sent  away  to 
school  from  the  soil  which  now  comprises  Perry  County.  Even 
in  that  day  the  call  for  an  education  was  in  the  atmosphere  of 
these  lands. 

He  is  first  mentioned  by  Conrad  Weiser  in  1744  when  he  inter- 
preted his  Iroquois  into  Delaware.  He  assisted  in  nearly  all  the 
important  Indian  negotiations  from  that  time  until  the  treaty  of 
Fort  Stanwix  in  1768,  being  employed  in  turn  by  the  Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia,  and  New  York  governments  and  the  Ohio  Com- 
pany. In  1754  he  was  with  George  Washington  at  the  surrender 
of  Fort  Necessity.  Several  times  he  warned  the  settlers  of  im- 
pending raids,  among  other  services  bringing  word  of  the  Pontiac 
outbreak.  He  accompanied  Major  Rogers  as  captain  of  Indian 


forces,  when  the  latter  went,  to  take  possession  of  Detroit,  and  in 
1764  commanded  a  party  against  the  recalcitrant  Delawares.  He 
received  for  his  services  several  grants  of  land  in  western  Penn- 
sylvania, as  well  as  money. 

In  the  autumn  of  1750  Conrad  Weiser  reported  to  the  governor 
of  the  province  that  the  French  agent  Joincaire  was  on  his  way  to 
the  Ohio  with  a  present  of  goods  and  orders  from  the  governor 
of  Canada  to  drive  out  all  English  traders.  Governor  Hamilton 
detailed  George  Croghan  and  Andrew  Montour  to  hasten  thither 
and  by  use  of  a  small  present  and  promise  of  more  to  try  and 
counteract  the  intrigues  of  the  French  and  retain  the  Indians  in 
the  English  interest. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  commissioners  of  the  province  at  Carlisle, 
October  1,  1753,  Montour  was  associated  with  such  illustrious 
lights  as  Richard  Peters,  Isaac  Norris,  and  Benjamin  Franklin. 
Conrad  Weiser  said  of  Montour  "that  he  was  faithful,  knowing 
and  prudent."  He  operated  among  the  more  western  Indians  and 
was  rewarded  financially  for  keeping  track  of  their  movements. 

While  Andrew  Montour  was  sometimes  under  suspicion  of 
double  dealing  he  always  maintained  his  position  with  the  provin- 
cial government  in  one  capacity  or  another.  In  proof  of  his  con- 
nection at  the  time  of  the  French  and  Indian  troubles,  also  of  his 
actual  residence  in  what  is  now  Perry  County  before  the  Albany 
treaty  of  July  6,  1754,  as  the  authorized  representative  of  the 
provincial  authorities,  the  following  letter  is  here  reproduced : 

Sherman's  Creek,  16th  May,  1754. 

Sir:  T  once  more  take  upon  me  the  liberty  of  informing  you  that  our 
Indians  at  Ohio  are  expecting  every  day  the  armed  forces  of  this  province 
against  the  French,  who,  by  their  late  encroachments,  is  likely  to  prevent 
their  planting,  and  thereby  render  them  impossible  of  supporting  their 
families.  And  you  may  depend  upon  it  as  a  certainty,  that  our  Indians 
will  not  strike  the  French,  unless  this  province  (or  New  York)  engage 
with  them ;  and  that  by  sending  some  number  of  men  to  their  immediate 
assistance.  The  reasons  are  plain ;  to  wit :  that  they  don't  look  upon 
their  late  friendship  with  Virginia,  sufficient  to  engage  them  with  a  war 
with  the  French  ;  I  therefor  think,  with  submission,  that  to  preserve  out- 
Indian  allies  tbis  province  ought  instantly  to  send  out  some  men,  either 
less  or  more,  which  I  have  good  reason  to  hope,  would  have  the  desired 
effect;  otherwise,  I  doubt  there  will,  in  a  little  time,  be  an  entire  separa- 
tion; the  consequences  of  which  you  are  best  able  to  judge,  &c.  I  am  in- 
formed by  my  brother,  who  has  lately  come  from  the  Lakes,  that  there  is 
at  that  place  a  great  number  of  French  Indians,  preparing  to  come  down 
to  the  assistance  of  the  French,  at  Ohio.  I  am  likewise  informed,  by  a 
young  Indian  man  (who,  by  my  brother's  directions,  spent  some  days  with 
the  French  at  Monongahela),  that  they  expect  a  great  number  of  French 
down  the  river  very  soon.  I  have  delayed  my  journey  to  Ohio  and  waited 
with  great  impatience  for  advice  from  Philadelphia,  but  have  not  yet  re- 
ceived any.  I  am  now  obliged  to  go  to  Colonel  Washington,  who  has  sent 
for  me  many  days  ago,  to  go  with  him  to  meet  the  half-king,  Monacatootha, 
and  others,  that  are  coming  to  meet  the  Virginia  companies ;    and,  as  they 


think,  sonic  from  Pennsylvania — and  would  have  been  glad  to  have  known 
the  design  of  this  province,  in  these  matters,  before  1  had  gone. 

I  am,  sir,  your  very  humble  servant, 

Andrew  Montour. 
To  Gov.  H.  R.  Morris. 

He  had  correspondence  with  the  governor  and  council,  and  this 
letter  to  the  governor  was  copied  from  Montour's  autograph  letter 
on  file  in  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth  at  the 
State  Capitol  in  Harrisburg. 

As  early  as  1744  we  find  that  "Andrew  Montour,  Madame  Mon- 
tour's son,  interpreted  an  Indian  message  from  the  Mohawk  lan- 
guage to  that  of  the  Delawares."  During  the  same  year  he  was 
also  the  interpreter  in  the  Jack  Armstrong  murder  case,  which  ap- 
pears earlier  in  this  book.  In  that  year  we  also  find  him  as  captain 
of  a  party  of  Iroquois  warriors,  marching  against  the  Catawbas, 
of  Carolina.  lie  fell  sick  and  was  obliged  to  return  to  Shamokin. 
In  May,  1745,  he  accompanied  Weiser  and  Shikellamy  to  Onon- 
daga with  a  message  and  instructions  from  the  governor  of  the 
province.  In  June,  1748,  he  was  introduced  by  Weiser  to  the 
president  of  the  council  of  the  province,  at  Philadelphia,  and  rec- 
ommended as  "faithful  and  prudent."  During  1754  George  Wash- 
ington sent  for  Montour  to  meet  him  at  Ohio,  and  he  (Montour) 
wrote  to  Secretary  Peters,  of  the  province,  from  his  residence  on 
Sherman's  Creek,  the  above  letter,  urging  the  immediate  necessity 
of  sending  men  and  arms  to  resist  the  impending  French  invasion. 
Montour  and  George  Croghan  proceeded  to  Monongahela  and 
there,  on  June  9,  found  Washington.  He  commanded  a  mixed 
company  of  whites  and  Indians  under  Washington. 

At  a  conference,  October  24,  1759,  at  Pittsburgh,  Montour  and 
George  Croghan  met  General  Stanwix,  and  Montour  lit  the  "pipe 
of  peace."  In  1761,  May  22,  at  a  conference  at  the  State  House 
in  Philadelphia,  Montour  was  the  official  interpreter.  In  1768,  at 
a  conference  at  Fort  Pitt,  between  George  Croghan,  deputy  agent 
Indian  affairs,  and  the  Six  Nations,  Delawares  and  Shawnees, 
Montour  was  the  interpreter.  He  filled  the  same  position  October 
24,  1768,  at  a  great  congress  with  the  Indians  at  Fort  Stanwix. 

During  1769,  on  November  3,  at  the  junction  of  Loyalsock 
Creek  and  the  West  Branch,  a  tract  of  land  was  surveyed  to  An- 
drew Montour.  It  contained  880  acres  and  was  called  Montour's 


THE  frontier  of  the  early  Eighteenth  Century  was  still  east 
of  the  Susquehanna.  Beyond  lay  the  forests,  the  hills,  the 
rivers  and  bands  of  Indians  sometimes  hostile  when  they 
emerged.  By  the  middle  of  the  century  adventurers — mostly 
Scotch-Irish — had  carried  settlement  across  that  river  and  were 
clamoring  for  the  right  to  cross  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain 
to  settle.  When  that  section  was  thrown  open  they  not  only  quickly 
settled  it,  but  passed  on,  and  crossed  the  Alleghenies  to  the  Ohio. 
While  that  was  happening  in  Pennsylvania  the  New  Englanders 
made  their  way  to  the  Mohawk  Valley  of  New  York,  then  on  to 
the  Seneca  territory  and  along  the  shores  of  the  Great  Lakes,  and 
to  the  south  through  the  Cumberland  pass  and  over  the  hills  of  the 
Carolinas  was  trickling  civilization  from  the  southern  seaboard  to 
Kentucky  and  Tennessee. 

*The  date  of  the  opening  of  the  laud  office  for  the  settlement  of 
the  lands  which  comprise  Perry  County  was  February  3,  1755, 
early  in  the  very  year  of  Braddock's  defeat,  and  almost  coincident 
with  the  time  when  that  noted  general  was  moving  towards  Brad- 
dock's  Field — as  it  later  came  to  be  known — where  the  British, 
because  of  their  pride  and  contempt  for  the  advice  of  experienced 
officers,  paid  for  the  Indian  dissatisfaction  of  the  previous  year  at 
Albany,  in  connection  with  the  purchase  of  these  very  lands.  Has 
it  ever  occurred  to  the  reader  how  closely  the  Perry  County  lands 
are  related  to  the  historic  Braddock  defeat? 

Settlers  had  come  in  in  large  numbers  during  1755;  but  owing 
to  the  defeat  of  Braddock  and  the  attending  defection  of  the  sav- 
ages, which  created  a  reign  of  terror  and  bloodshed  throughout  the 
province,  few  claims  were  located  and  settled  upon  between  that 
year  and  1761.  While  there  was  still  much  land  open  to  settle- 
ment south  of  the  Blue  or  Kittatinny  Mountain  there  was  a  scar- 
city of  water  as  compared  to  the  north  side.     These  earliest  set- 

*Legendary  and  traditional  information,  unless  backed  up  by  supporting 
facts,  is  not  to  be  relied  upon.  Various  persons  have  furnished  statements 
that  their  ancestors  were  settlers  of  the  Sherman's  Valley  and  other  parts 
of  Perry  County  as  early  as  1741,  1743,  and  various  other  dates.  Careful 
investigation  has  been  made  in  provincial  records,  and  nowhere  can  there 
be  found  any  permanent  settlements  prior  to  the  late  summer  of  1753,  save 
those  who  came  in  as  squatters  and  intruders  and  were  dispossessed,  men- 
tion of  which  appears  in  the  chapters  relating  to  the  Indians,  elsewhere  in 
this  book. 



tiers  were  mostly  Scotch- Irish,  and  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that 
they  invariably  sought  lands  near  the  headwaters  of  streams,  a 
characteristic  likely  instilled  deep  in  the  race.  If  they  could  but 
get  their  habitations  near  springs  or  running  water  they  regarded 
it  of  more  advantage  than  having  them  on  more  fertile  soil  where 
the  matter  of  water  was  a  question.  And  it  must  be  remembered 
that  in  Perry  County  these  springs  and  streams  come  welling  to 
the  surface  of  the  earth,  pure,  and  clear,  and  cold,  from  vast  sub- 
terranean caverns  in  the  heart  of  the  hills. 

Prof.  Wright,  in  his  history,  states  that  there  is  not  a  single 
farm  in  Perry  County  of  one  hundred  acres  or  more  which  does 
not  have  running  water  upon  it. 

With  these  early  Scotch-Irish  came  a  few  English,  many  Ger- 
mans coming  in  later.  The  provincial  government  at  first  made 
an  effort  to  place  the  different  nationalities  in  different  sections, 
hut  soon  found  it  difficult  of  accomplishment  and  a  failure  when 
done.  The  Scotch-Irish,  as  spoken  of  in  America,  are  not  Irish 
at  all,  but  Scotch  and  English,  who  fled  religious  persecution  at 
home  at  the  hands  of  Charles  I  (  1714-1720)  and  found  refuge  in 
Ireland,  and  their  descendants.  The  term  is  of  American  origin 
and  use  and  is  identical  with  the  English  term,  Ulstermen.  It  de- 
notes no  mixture  of  blood  of  the  two  races,  as  they  did  not  inter- 
marry. They  entered  Ireland  and  took  up  the  estates  of  Irish 
rebels,  confiscated  under  Queen  Elizabeth  and  James  I.  James  I, 
by  the  way,  was  king  of  Scotland,  and  as  James  VI  encour- 
aged his  Presbyterian  subjects  to  do  this.  Many  of  them  had  mi- 
grated early  in  the  Seventeenth  Century,  about  seventy-five  years 
before  the  founding  of  Pennsylvania.  Towards  the  middle  of 
the  same  century  Cromwell  confiscated  Irish  lands  and  emigration 
increased  further,  many  English  being  among  them.  The  Scotch 
were  principally  Saxon  in  blood  and  Presbyterian  in  religion,  de- 
vout Christians,  while  the  native  Irish  are  Celtic  in  blood  and  Ro- 
man Catholic  in  religion.  The  races  are  distinct  in  Ireland  to  this 
day,  which  accounts  largely  for  the  eternal  Irish  question,  which 
at" this  very  time  (1920)  has  the  British  Kingdom  at  wit's  end. 

The  settlement  of  Irish  and  Germans  north  of  the  Kittatinny 
was  often  the  cause  of  neighborhood  and  family  feuds,  which  ex- 
isted even  after  the  organization  of  the  county,  as  there  is  record 
of  such  a  fight  in  the  spring  of  1823,  when  one  of  the  participants, 
fearing  that  he  "had  killed  the  dutchman,"  fled  to  Indiana,  where 
he  became  an  honored  citizen. 

In  his  Making  of  Pennsylvania,  Sydney  George  Fisher  says : 
"The  thought  and  enterprise  of  New  England  has  been  built  up 
entirely  by  Congregationalists ;  well  on  to  one-half  of  the  social 
fabric  of  Pennsylvania  has  been  built  up  by  Presbyterians,  and 
there  is  scarcely  a  state  in  the  Union  where  the  influence  of  Cal- 


vinism  had  not  been  powerfully  felt."  In  the  original  settlement 
of  Perry  County  territory  this  Scotch-Irish  element  was  a  large 
factor  and  their  descendants  are  among  the  foremost  in  its  affairs 
and  among  those  sent  out  to  wider  fields,  one  of  whom,  when  this 
is  written,  occupies  the  Vice-Presidential  chair  of  the  United 
States.  See  biography  of  Thomas  R.  Marshall  further  on  in  this 

The  struggle  for  the  possession  of  the  new  world  was  at  first 
confined  to  six  nationalities:  the  Spanish,  French,  English,  Dutch, 
Swedes,  and  Portuguese.  The  Germans,  distracted  by  their  own 
political  divisions,  seemed  to  have  no  desire  to  colonize.  They 
finally  appeared  in  Pennsylvania  half  a  century  after  most  of  the 
English  colonies  had  been  established,  but  they  came  as  immigrants 
under  the  protection  of  the  Bnijlisli  nation,  at  first  encouraged  by 
the  Quakers,  and  later  by  the  British  Government,  says  Fisher. 
They  came  principally  from  the  Palatinate ;  from  Alsace,  Swabia, 
Saxony,  and  Switzerland.  They  had  been  held  in  more  or  less 
subjection  at  home,  and  many  of  the  earlier  immigrants  were  a 
very  crude  people.  Pastorius  tells  of  the  Indians  even  considering 
them  so.  He  relates :  "An  Indian  promised  to  sell  one  a  turkey 
ben.  Instead  he  brought  an  eagle  and  insisted  it  was  a  turkey. 
It  was  refused,  and  the  Indian  to  a  Swede,  a  bystander,  remarked 
that  he  thought  a  German,  just  arrived,  would  not  know  the  dif- 
ference." Later  they  came  in  larger  numbers  and  of  a  more  in- 
telligent class.  The  German  element,  often  referred  to  in  our 
state,  as  the  Pennsylvania  Dutch,  lias  been  variously  estimated  as 
composing  from  one-third  to  one-half  of  the  population  of  Penn- 
sylvania, and  has  had  a  great  influence  in  the  development  of  the 
state  and  of  Perry  County,  where  their  descendants  are  a  thrifty 
and  enterprising  element.  In  the  blood  of  thousands  of  Perry 
Countians  and  their  descendants  who  have  gone  abroad  is  a  strain 
of  German  steadfastness  and  perseverance  which  has  sent  men  to 
the  gubernatorial  chair  of  not  only  our  own  state,  but  of  others, 
and  to  the  highest  legislative  body  in  the  world.  See  biographies 
of  noted  men.  In  some  counties  the  German  element  has  lived 
unto  itself,  using  the  German  language,  with  little  or  no  inter- 
marriage with  other  elements,  thus  causing  practically  no  advance- 
ment. This  was  not  so  in  Perry  County.  The  children  attended 
the  public  schools  and  soon  learned  to  use  English,  the  parents 
learning  it  in  turn,  and  to-day  of  this  original  German  stock  not 
one  family  uses  the  German  language  in  the  home.  However, 
about  1890  a  German  colony  located  in  Watts  Township,  built  a 
small  church,  and  a  few  of  the  parents  of  these  families  may  still 
use  it,  while  the  children  speak  English.  The  Germans  were 
mostly  of  the  Lutheran  and  Reformed  faith.     These  older  settlers 


and  their  descendants  have  had  considerable  contempt  for  a  few 
of  the  newer  who  continually  talked  of  "The  Fatherland." 

Thomas  Kilby  Smith,  in  his  "Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania," 
says  of  the  type  of  Germans  which  settled  Perry  County: 

"The  members  of  the  Lutheran  and  Reformed  Churches,  who  represent 
the  second  phase  of  German  emigration  to  Pennsylvania,  were  of  a  higher 
type  than  their  predecessors,  most  of  them  belonging  to  the  middle  classes 
and  not  to  the  peasantry,  as  were  the  great  majority  of  the  sects  who  pre- 
ceded them.  Like  the  Scotch-Irish  and  the  Welsh,  they  have  mingled  with 
the  community  in  general  and  have  been  absorbed  into  the  population  of 
the  state,  abandoning  any  peculiarities  of  language  or  custom  that  they 
may  have  had  at  the  time  of  their  arrival.  They  have  engaged  in  various 
occupations,  with  a  tendency,  however,  to  remain  in  the  towns  rather  than 
in  the  country  districts.  Being  less  numerous  than  the  Pennsylvania  Dutch 
and  more  rapidly  assimilated,  they  have  made  less  impression,  as  a  sepa- 
rate people,  on  the  civilization  of  the  state  than  the  Germans  who  pre- 
ceded them.  Generally  speaking,  they  have  been  prosperous,  have  adhered 
closely  to  their  respective  churches,  relinquished  their  native  tongue,  and 
pursued  industriously  their  various  occupations.  With  a  few  exceptions, 
they  have  not  taken  a  prominent  part  in  politics  or  public  affairs,  except  in 
lines  of  philanthropy,  education  and  music." 

In  the  matter  of  noted  men  from  the  county  the  two  races,  now 
much  intermarried,  vie  with  each  other  as  to  the  number  which 
the  county  has  sent  forth. 

Speaking  of  the  German  element,  Prof.  Wright,  in  his  history 
(1873),  says:  "Pfoutz's  Valley  is  still  characteristically  a  Ger- 
man settlement,  though  there  are  many  persons  unable  to  con- 
verse in  any  hut  the  English  language.  For  our  fertile  soil  the 
German  is  slowly  exchanging  his  language ;  his  children  receive 
an  English  education  in  the  free  schools,  without  dissent.  In  fact, 
many  of  our  best  scholars  were  the  children  of  German  parents." 
He  adds,  "Although  the  soil  of  Perry  County  was  first  settled  by 
English-speaking  people,  the  farming  population  is  now  largely 
composed  of  German  origin." 

Prof.  W.  C.  Shuman, -formerly  of  Perry  County,  in  his  "Gene- 
alogy of  the  Shuman  Family,"  says  of  the  Germans:  "The  Ger- 
mans have  profoundly  influenced  the  history  of  Pennsylvania  for 
about  200  years.  They  have  been  slow,  self -centered  and  non- 
progressive;  but  they  have  also  been  honest,  industrious  and 
thrifty;  and  in  the  main,  they  have  been  on  the  right  side  of  all 
great  issues." 

The  Indian  troubles  of  1763  again  retarded  settlement,  but  the 
victory  of  the  noted  Colonel  Henry  Bouquet  in  Ohio,  in  1764, 
caused  the  Indians  to  pretty  generally  desert  the  central  Pennsyl- 
vania territory,  and  a  tide  of  immigration  from  the  eastern  section 
of  the  province  began,  and,  owing  to  imperfect  titles  to  their  lands 
in  Chester  County,  later  brought  to  the  territory  such  men  as 
John  Hench,  Jacob  Hippie,  Jacob  Hart  man,  Frederick  Shull  and 


Zachariah  Rice,  whose  descendants  are  legion,  and  hundreds  of 
others.  By  1767  many  of  the  best  plots  were  taken,  and  by  1778 
the  greater  part  of  the  lands. 

The  selling  of  emigrants  into  servitude  for  the  payment  of  their 
passage  across  the  ocean  was  practiced.  George  Leonard,  an  early 
settler  of  the  lands  which  comprise  Perry  County,  was  sold  in  that 
manner  when  but  six  years  old,  his  father  having  died  while  aboard 
.and  his  body  cast  into  the  sea,  according  to  the  custom. 

The  western  part  of  Perry  County,  generally  speaking,  im- 
presses one  with  the  fact  that  it  was  settled  before  the  eastern  sec- 
tion, or  the  part  lying  between  the  rivers,  and  records  verify  it.  All 
through  western  Sherman's  Valley  are  to  be  found  stone  houses 
more  than  a  century  old,  built  by  artisans  whose  work  has  stood 
the  test,  whose  wage  was  likely  a  very  meagre  one  and  whose  hours 
possibly  were  numbered  only  by  the  number  of  hours  of  daylight. 
Their  work  will  ever  stand  a  monument  to  early  craftsmanship. 
At  only  one  other  part  of  the  county  are  there  many  of  these  old 
landmarks,  and  that  is  Millerstown.  (See  chapter  on  Millerstown.) 
The  one  on  the  Solomon  Bower  farm,  in  Jackson  Township,  now 
owned  by  Assemblyman  Clark  Bower,  was  built  in  1794,  when 
George  Washington  was  President.  An  end  was  built  to  it  in  1834 
and  a  second  story  added  in  1870.  The  large  stone  house  on  the 
C.  A.  Anderson  farm,  at  Andersonburg,  is  another  fine  example. 
It  was  built  in  1820.    The  adjoining  barn  was  erected  in  1821. 

It  is  difficult  for  the  present  generation,  with  its  modern  homes, 
many  lighted  by  electricity  and  gas  ;  with  water  piped  through- 
out and  a  multitude  of  accessories  to  make  life  easy  and  comfort- 
able ;  with  its  modern  method  of  travel  in  parlor  cars  at  fifty 
miles  an  hour;  with  automobiles  equipped  and  finished  finer  than 
the  grandest  carriage,  and  traveling  thirty  miles  an  hour  (accord- 
ing to  law)  ;  with  stores  and  shops  existing  at  which  anything 
may  be  purchased  ;  with  telephones  in  one's  home  whereby  he  may 
talk  to  another  state  in  a  few  minutes,  and  hundreds  of  other  con- 
veniences unnamed  and  unenumerated,  to  realize  the  extreme  needs 
and  crude  methods  and  equipment  of  these  pioneers  of  civilization, 
who  braved  the  rigors  of  the  early  winters  and  the  dangers  of  the 
redskins  to  build  in  the  wilderness  a  home  and  to  wrest  from  the 
savage  a  state. 

When  the  pioneer  wended  his  way  over  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue 
Mountain  the  country  was  a  vast  forest,  whose  creeks  and  rivers 
were  destitute  of  bridges  and  could  only  be  crossed  with  safety 
at  given  points,  and  not  at  all  when  the  waters  were  high.  There 
were  no  roads,  but  only  the  trails  and  paths  used  by  the  red  men 
and  the  traders.  There  were  no  houses,  no  cleared  lands,  no 
schools,  nothing  but  the  eternal  stillness  which  one  yet  experiences 
when  traveling  afoot   in  the  fastnesses  of  the  mountain.     Upon 


entering  the  forest  their  very  first  act  was  to  cut  the  timber  and 
hew  boards  with  an  axe  for  the  erection  of  their  homes,  for  at 
first  there  were  even  no  sawmills.  Instead  of  their  floors  being 
sawed  and  planed,  as  are  ours,  they  were  split  and  hewed.  Indeed, 
there  were  some  that  had  no  floors  save  the  earth  upon  which  they 
were  built,  even  the  old  church  at  Dick's  (jap  being  floorless. 

While  the  little  log  house  was  yet  in  course  of  erection  the  trees 
were  being  felled  on  "the  clearing,"  which  was  to  be  the  first  field 
of  the  new  home,  and  by  the  time  of  its  finishing  a  "patch"  was 
ready  for  planting  or  sowing.  Then,  while  it  was  growing,  there 
were  other  lands  to  clear,  a  barn  and  other  buildings  to  be  built ; 
and  eternal  vigilance  was  necessary  to  prevent  the  coming  of  the 
savage  with  his  tomahawk,  in  search  of  scalps.  There  was  no 
machinery  and  the  crudest  methods  of  slow  and  tedious  operation 
were  necessary  to  the  raising  and  threshing  of  crops.  In  fact,  the 
threshing  of  a  crop,  which  is  now  done  in  a  day  or  two  on  the 
great  majority  of  farms,  then  required  months,  as  the  tramping 
out  of  grain  on  the  barn  floors,  with  horses,  and  the  use  of  the 
"flail"  were  the  only  available  methods  of  extracting  the  grain. 

The  furnishings  of  the  pioneers  were  as  crude  as  the  cabins 
themselves,  the  tables  and  benches  being  of  wood,  split  and  hewed, 
until  the  advent  of  the  "up-and-down"  sawmill.  Dishes,  plates  and 
spoons  were  of  pewter,  bowls  were  fashioned  from  wood,  and 
squashes  and  gourds  supplied  receptacles  for  water.  The  clothing 
was  of  homespun  and  homemade,  the  women  and  girls  being  busy 
with  spinning  wheel  and  needle  during  the  long  winters.  The  men 
dressed  in  hunting  shirts  and  moccasins,  later  in  knee  pants  with 
buckles.  When  the  first  schools  were  established  the  clearing  of 
lands  and  threshing  during  the  long  winters,  and  the  spinning  and 
sewing  to  make  the  family  clothing,  kept  many  from  school,  even 
the  few  months  when  schools  were  in  session.  Tallow  candles 
were  used  as  lights,  and  there  are  many  men  and  women  yet  living 
who  can  well  remember  when  their  people  used  tallow  candles  as 
their  only  lights,  save  perchance  a  rare  oil  lamp  "when  company 

Gradually  roads  wTere  built  and  travel  was  either  afoot,  on  horse- 
back or  by  wagon,  all  of  which  was  slow  and  required  much  time. 
Settlements  were  widely  separated  and  the  nearest  town  was  in  the 
Cumberland  Valley,  then  known  as  the  "Kittochtinny  Valley." 
Large  families  were  the  rule  and  it  was  no  uncommon  thing  for 
a  family  to  have  over  a  dozen  children,  five  or  six  children  being 
considered  a  small  family.  Many  of  the  most  prominent  families 
of  the  district  were  large.  To-day  the  reverse  is  the  case  and  hun- 
dreds of  families  in  the  same  territory  number  from  one  to  three 
children,  the  family  of  a  half-dozen  being  considered  large.  Mr. 
William  Morrison,  of  New  Germantown,  a  man  of  mature  years. 


to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  much  information,  was  the  father  of 
fifteen,  twelve  sons  in  succession,  then  a  daughter,  a  son  and  a 
daughter.     There  were  many  families  of  this  size  and  larger. 

The  method  of  heating  the  first  rude  homes  was  the  open  fire- 
place fashioned  from  huge  stones.  There  were  no  matches,  fire 
being  produced  by  the  use  of  flint.  On  many  occasions  neighbors 
borrowed  fire  from  each  other,  if  located  in  close  proximity.  Peo- 
ple yet  live  who  remember  this.  Over  these  rude  fireplaces  swung 
a  kettle  in  which  the  family  meal  was  boiled.    Later  air-tight  stoves 






i      -  *  ^ 




(Copied   from    Miniature  of   1802,   when   on   their  "honeymoon.") 
Joseph    Martin    (1 77 7-1831),  born   on   the   "Big  Island"    while   his  father,    Capt.    Joseph 
Martin  was  in  the  Army,  his  mother  being  Ann   (Nancy)   Baskins.     The  bride,   Rachael 
Gillespie     (1785-1851),     who    in     later    years    married     secondly     Rev.     Jacob     Gruber, 

circuit    rider, 

were  introduced,  which  were  also  very  imperfect  at  first.  Maple 
sugar  was  extracted  from  trees  during  the  early  spring,  and  in  very 
rare  cases  its  manufacture  continues  in  the  county.  Hand  weaving 
was  practiced  by  the  housewife,  and  there  exist  to-day  throughout 
the  county  many  of  the  finest  counterpanes,  of  exquisite  design, 
heirlooms  from  a  former  generation. 

Hospitality,  not  only  to  one's  kin,  but  to  strangers,  was  practiced 
everywhere,  and  exists  to  a  great  extent  to-day,  save  that  a  stranger 
must  have  credentials,  as  many  of  "the  gentry"  took  advantage  of 


those  who  took  them  in.  In  fact,  hospitality  in  the  early  days  was 
not  confined  to  any  one  section,  and  it  is  said  of  our  first  Presi- 
dent,  General  Washington,  that  his  family  "did  not  sit  alone  to 
dinner  for  twenty  years."  In  the  provincial  days  the  public  stop- 
ping place  was  an  "ordinary,"  later  it  became  a  "tavern,"  and  still 
later  a  "hotel,"  which  name  it  retains,  with  variations,  such  as 
"hostelry,"  "road  house,"  "tea  room,"  etc. 

Some  folks  attached  considerable  importance  to  certain  days  and 
certain  signs,  "planting  in  signs"  being  largely  practiced.  The 
modern  way  of  planting  in  fertile  ground,  well  prepared  and  duly 
cultivated,  seems  to  be  an  improvement.  These  signs  were  re- 
garded as  foretelling  the  state  of  the  weather,  of  health,  and 
whether  seed  should  be  planted.  One  certain  day  broke  ice  if  it 
found  it,  and  formed  it  if  there  was  none  (rather  a  contrary  sort 
of  day  and  emblematic  of  a  certain  type  of  people)  ;  other  days 
were  "bad  days"  or  "good  days"  for  planting  or  sowing  seeds, 
others  for  building  fences  and  roofing  buildings,  and  still  others 
for  slaughtering  stock  and  weaning  stock  and  even  babies.  It  is 
not  strange  that  many  of  these  old  notions  prevailed,  for  they 
were  bequeathed  from  sire  to  son  and  from  mother  to  daughter 
for  centuries ;  they  came  with  the  Pilgrim  and  the  Cavalier  from 
across  the  sea  and  formed  a  sort  of  tradition  among  all  classes. 
The  belief  in  witchcraft  and  sorcery  is  practically  gone,  yet  once  in 
too  was  a  part  of  the  belief  of  many  in  widely  scattered  sections 
of  the  Union.  Even  in  our  own  day  certain  customs  known  to 
our  earlier  years  have  since  been  replaced  and  proven  fallacious, 
and  things  now  generally  acceptable  will,  in  the  coming  years,  seem 
as  strange  to  the  populace  as  does  witchcraft  to  us  now. 

For  many  decades  Bear's  Almanac,  a  Lancaster  publication,  was 
a  part  of  the  literature  of  every  farm  home,  and  largely  con- 
tinues so. 

In  the  early  days  the  currency  was  "eleven  penny  bits,"  "fi' 
penny  bits,"  "levies"  and  shillings,  eight  shillings  making  one  dol- 
lar. The  big  cents  of  copper  appeared  in  1792  and  bore  on  their 
face  the  head  of  Washington,  and  on  the  reverse  side  a  chain  of 
thirteen  links,  emblematic  of  the  thirteen  original  states. 

Wild  animals  roamed  at  will  and  some  were  beasts  of  prey, 
among  them  being  bears,  panthers,  wolves,  wild  cats,  etc.  Bears 
were  seen  in  Horse  Valley  as  late  as  1885.  Wolves  were  bad  and 
even  the  graves  had  to  be  covered  with  stones  in  early  times  to 
insure  their  safety  from  these  animals.  "The  Narrows,"  below 
Mt.  Patrick,  was  once  a  dangerous  place  owing  to  its  being  the 
habitation  of  wolves.  Near  Crawley  Hill,  in  Spring  Township, 
there  is  a  small  area  of  rocks,  probably  fifteen  feet  high,  known 
to  this  day  as  "the  wolf  rocks,"  and  which  tradition  says  was  so 
named  by  reason  of  it  having  been  a  rendezvous  for  wolves  when 


they  still  inhabited  the  forests.  It  is  yet  a  den  for  foxes.  The 
Fishing  Creek  Valley  (Rye  Township)  was  a  place  noted  for 
wolves  even  to  the  present  generation,  and  there  are  men  of  fifty 
years  who  can  remember  them.  On  January  21,  1829,  George 
Ilollenbangh,  of  Toboyne  Township,  was  hunting,  and  entered  a 
cavern  in  the  mountains,  but  quickly  retraced  his  steps,  a  bear  fol- 
lowing him  out.  He  shot  it,  and  another  appeared.  It  too  was 
despatched.  He  then  went  for  help  to  carry  away  the  animals, 
when  a  third  appeared  and  was  shot,  according  to  the  Perry  For- 
ester, Perry  County'  first  paper. 

There  is  record  of  a  Mr.  Magee,  who  was  grandfather  of  Alex- 
ander Magee,  sheriff  of  Perry  County  in  1841-43,  going  to  the 
door  of  his  home,  in  Toboyne  Township,  one  night  when  he  heard 
a  scream.  He  stepped  out,  axe  in  hand,  and  killed  a  panther,  which 
was  just  ready  to  pounce  upon  him.  Deer,  rabbits  and  squirrel 
were  common,  and  venison  graced  the  table  of  the  pioneer  on 
many  occasions.  The  meats  of  these  animals  were  salted  down 
for  use  during  the  long  winters.  Wild  turkeys,  pheasants  and 
partridges  roamed  the  forests,  and  during  certain  seasons  wild 
pigeons  collected  in  vast  numbers.  The  streams,  unpolluted  and 
at  first  free  of  dams,  were  alive  with  fish,  principally  bass,  pike  and 
trout.  After  the  severe  winters  shad,  rockfish,  salmon  and  perch 
ascended  the  streams,  thus  probably  augmenting  a  supply  of  pro- 
visions which  had  become  largely  depleted. 

During  the  summer  of  1919  the  late  George  Bryner  (born  in 
1X32)  recalled  how  his  Grandmother  Hench,  who  resided  near  the 
McMillen  farms,  in  the  vicinity  of  Kistler,  Madison  Township, 
used  to  describe  the  howling  of  the  wolves  and  tell  of  using  powder, 
which  they  would  ignite  at  night,  to  scare  the  animals  from  their 
cattle.  It  appears  that  wolves  scent  trouble  with  the  smell  of 
powder,  as  do  many  other  wild  animals. 

The  Susquehanna  and  Juniata  country  was  once  the  home  of 
that  great  and  picturesque  bird,  the  American  eagle,  and  to  this 
day  Bald  eagles  inhabit  the  shores,  including  Perry  County  terri- 
tory, but  in  very  small  numbers.  Their  passing  is  attributed  to 
the  propensity  for  killing  by  a  certain  class  of  hunters,  who  never 
should  have  been  permitted  to  shoulder  a  gun.  The  Bald  eagle 
was  here  when  the  pioneer  came,  and  unmolested,  continued  until 
the  last  century  was  well  passed,  when  they  began  to  be  viewed  as 
thieves,  with  the  result  that  only  a  few  stragglers  remain.  In  an 
interesting  booklet,  by  that  wonderful  lover  of  outdoor  life.  Col. 
Henry  W.  Shoemaker,  appears  this  paragraph  relating  to  the 
method  of  their  passing,  which  is  of  interest  to  this  section : 

"Charles  Lukens,  of  Duncan's  Island,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata 
River,  states  that  a  hunter,  now  residing  at  Halifax,  killed  a  Bald  eagle 
on  Peters'  Mountains  in  1910.    He  made  ready  to  take  the  carcass  to  Har- 


risburg  to  claim  a  bounty,  but  on  learning  tbat  it  was  a  protected  bird 
abandoned  the  trip,  and  it  is  not  known  what  became  of  the  eagle.  Charles 
Smith,  an  intelligent  farmer  residing  on  Haldeman's  Island,  states  that  it 
was  formerly  not  an  extraordinary  occurrence  to  see  Bald  eagles  soaring 
over  the  island  and  the  river,  but  for  several  years  he  has  not  seen  any. 
The  Rev.  B.  H.  Hart,  of  Williamsport,  who  owns  an  island  not  far  from 
Liverpool,  says  Bald  eagles  were  formerly  seen  in  fair  numbers  along  the 
river  and  at  his  i-sland,  though  he  cannot  recollect  having  seen  any  for 
several  years." 

Slowly  sailing  across  the  heavens  their  eagle  eyes  would  detect 
a  fish  in  the  water  hundreds  of  yards  away,  and  at  one  fell  swoop 
would  fasten  it  between  their  beaks,  and  carry  it  to  their  young  in 
the  crags  of  the  mountain  where  they  nested.  Their  nests  were 
built  of  sticks  and  twigs  and  were  huge  affairs  when  compared 
with  the  nests  of  other  birds.  It  is  related  that  when  a  tree  upon 
which  a  pair  nested,  in  a  neighboring  county,  was  cut,  a  small 
wagonload  of  kindling  was  gathered  from  the  nest.  Naturalists 
tell  that  these  birds  would  tear  down  and  rebuild  their  nests  en- 
tirely, every  third  or  fourth  year,  and  in  the  intervening  years 
would  only  rebuild  the  top  or  finishing  part. 

Passing  of  the;  Buffalo. 

Many,  many  years  ago  this  land  was  overrun  by  great  herds  of 
Buffalo,  especially  that  portion  of  Pennsylvania  which  comprises 
the  tablelands  lying  between  the  Juniata  and  Susquehanna  Rivers. 
Part  of  Perry  County,  of  course,  is  included  in  this  domain,  and 
Buffalo  Township,  Perry  County,  was  named  to  perpetuate  the 
memory  thereof.  There  is  a  chapter  in  this  book  relating  to  Buf- 
falo Township,  which  was,  by  the  way,  the  author's  birthplace. 
Its  lands  belonged  to  Greenwood  Township,  which  was  a  part  of 
Fermanagh  Township — one  of  the  original  townships  of  Cumber- 
land County,  when  that  county  was  formed.  Buffalo  Township 
became  a  separate  unit  in  i/<j<j,  the  very  year  in  which  the  illus- 
trious Washington,  the  first  President  of  the  Republic,  passed 
away.  Even  before  one  of  the  county's  townships  was  named 
Buffalo,  we  find  in  annals  relating  to  the  pioneers  and  the  Indians 
the  name  of  Buffalo  Creek,  which  rises  in  present  Madison  Town- 
ship, in  the  section  known  as  Liberty  Valley,  and  flows  into  the 
Juniata  above  Newport,  and  which  was  most  probably  named 
by  the  red  men  themselves.  Then,  besides  Buffalo  Creek  and 
Buffalo  Township,  there  is  Buffalo  Church,  Buffalo  Mills,  New 
Buffalo,  etc.,  within  the  limits  of  Perry  County. 

In  1655  a  man  named  Vonder  Donk  published  a  history,  in 
which  he  said:  "Many  of  the  Netherlanders  have  been  far  into  the 
country  more  than  seventy  or  eighty  leagues  from  the  river  and 
seashore.  We  frequently  trade  with  the  Indians  who  come  more 
than  ten  and  twenty  days'  journey  from  the  interior."     He  says 


that  half  of  the  buffaloes  have  disappeared  and  left  the  country, 

and  now  "keep  mostly  to  the  Southwest,  where  few  people  go." 
The  heavers,  of  which  eighty  thousand  are  killed  annually,  are  also 
mostly  taken  far  inland,  there  being  few  of  them  near  the  settle- 

Vast  herds  of  buffalo  once  roamed  the  Susquehanna  Valley,  as 
they  later  did  the  plains  of  the  great  West,  ever  receding  before 
the  westward  sweep  of  the  pioneer.  W.  T.  Hornaday  says  that 
the  animals  used  to  roam  the  country  west  of  the  Susquehanna, 
between  Harrisburg  and  Sunbury,  and  the  West  Branch  country 
of  the  Susquehanna.  Other  writers  say  that  as  late  as  1773  there 
were  probably  as  many  as  twelve  thousand  bison  in  the  herds  that 
came  to  this  part  of  the  country.  Like  Terry,  Union  County  per- 
petuates the  name  in  three  of  its  nine  townships  and  in  other  ways. 
According  to  Col.  Henry  W.  Shoemaker,  along  Buffalo  Path  Run, 
in  that  county,  can  be  plainly  seen  the  marks  made  by  the  herd,  al- 
though none  have  traveled  it  for  almost  a  century  and  a  half. 

The  country  between  Buffalo  Township,  in  Perry  County,  and 
the  three  Buffalo  Townships  in  Union  County,  and  westward  in 
northern  Snyder  and  southern  Union  Counties,  will  ever  be 
memorable  as  the  scene  of  the  "last  stand"  in  Pennsylvania  of  the 
dwindling  buffalo  herd,  in  December,  1799.  A  coincidence,  not 
strange  however,  is  that  Buffalo  Township  was  created  by  the 
Cumberland  County  court — for  Perry  was  yet  a  part  of  Cumber- 
land— within  ninety  days  prior  to  this  incident.  Almost  four  hun- 
dred animals,  unable  to  escape  because  settlements  had  grown  up 
which  entirely  surrounded  them,  had  remained  hidden  in  the  fast- 
nesses of  the  mountains  to  the  west  of  Snyder  and  Union  Coun- 
ties. That  last  winter  of  the  closing  Eighteenth  Century  was  se- 
vere and,  desperate  for  want  of  food,  they  braved  the  Middle 
Creek  section  of  that  territory,  scenting  a  barnyard  haystack  of  a 
settler.  They  broke  through  the  stump  fence  and  trampled  to  death 
the  cattle  and  sheep  within  the  enclosure.  The  owner  and  a  neigh- 
bor succeeded  in  killing  four. 

The  shots  and  attacking  dogs  drove  them  further  down  the  val- 
ley to  a  cabin  which  stood  near  where  Troxelville,  Snyder  County, 
is  now  located,  being  in  the  northwest  section  of  that  county. 
There  the  wounded  leader  of  the  herd,  wild  with  rage,  broke  down 
the  door  and  entered  the  cabin.  As  many  as  could  enter  followed. 
They  were  so  tightly  jammed  in  the  cabin  that  the  only  way  to  get 
them  out  was  to  tear  it  away  and  release  them.  The  mangled 
bodies  of  the  wife  and  children  of  the  owner,  crushed  beyond  de- 
scription, were  beneath  them  when  released. 

Naturally  this  state  of  affairs  needed  immediate  attention,  and 
messengers  went  up  and  down  the  valley  summoning  hunters  to 
help  exterminate  the  herd.     Fifty  men  responded  and  started  to 



hunt  the  bison  which  had  fled  to  the  mountain.  In  the  meantime 
more  snow  had  fallen  and  their  tracks  were  obliterated.  After  a 
two-day  search  they  were  found,  buried  to  their  necks  in  snow, 
at  a  spot  near  Weikert,  along  Penn's  Creek,  in  the  southwest  sec- 
tion of  Union  County — the  "blind  end"  of  Buffalo  Valley.  Sur- 
rounded by  snow  of  awful  depth,  almost  frozen  and  at  the  verge 
of  starvation  thus  perished  the  last  herd  of  buffalo  in  the  lands  of 
William  Penn.  In  January,  1801,  a  straggler  was  found  and  de- 
spatched at  Buffalo  Crossroads,  near  Lewisburg.  A  strange  coin- 
cidence in  this  connection  is  that  the  last  elk  in  the  state  was  killed 
near  the  same  spot,  though  not  until  almost  a  century  later — 1878. 

Early  Maps  Showing  Locations. 

Modern  map  makers  for  the  great  trunk  lines  of  railroads  show 
almost  straight  lines  of  these  arteries  of  travel,  yet  the  tourist  finds 
his  train  taking  innumerable  curves  while  traveling  over  these 
"straight  lines."  Naturally  all  maps  radiate  from  the  given  centre 
in  the  eye  of  the  producer,  and  it  is  not  strange  to  find,  in  the 
many  old  maps  available,  some  things  which  are  practically  cor- 
rect, and  much  that  is  drawn  from  conjecture  and  description,  sur- 
rounding the  known  locality.  The  inaccuracies  of  these  old  maps, 
with  the  facilities  at  hand  for  securing  information,  can  be  much 
more  readily  excused  than  the  modern  ones  "with  intent  afore- 
thought to  deceive."  A  man  named  Visscher  published  a  map  of 
New  Netherlands  in  1655  which  shows  with  some  degree  of  ac- 
curacy the  course  of  the  Susquehanna  River,  but  with  no  west 
branch  of(  it  or  no  Juniata.  During  the  following  half  century 
about  fifteen  different  maps  all  contain  the  same  river  outline. 
West  of  the  river,  about  where  the  Juniata  belongs,  he  locates  an 
Indian  tribe  known  as  the  "Onojutta  Haga." 

Lord  Baltimore  had  a  map  maker  named  Augustine  Herman 
make  a  map  of  Maryland  for  him  in  1670,  and  it  shows  Maryland 
coming  up  to  the  Blue  or  Kittatinny  Mountain,  including  part  of 
the  Cumberland  Valley.  It  shows  a  group  of  mountains  about 
where  Perry  County  is  located  and  a  note  along  the  edge  carries 
the  information  that  "beyond  these  mountains  the  streams  run  to 
the  west,  either  into  the  Bay  of  Mexico  or  the  South  Sea ;  that 
the  first  one  discovered,  a  very  great  stream,  is  the  'Black  Min- 
quas'  River  (the  Ohio),  on  which  lived  the  tribe  of  that  name; 
that  there  was  a  branch  of  this  river  (the  Conemaugh)  opposite 
the  Susquehanna  (Juniata),  which  entered  at  some  leagues  above 
the  fort."  In  1698  Gabriel  Thomas  published  a  map,  which  places 
at  least  a  part  of  Cumberland  County  in  Virginia;  in  fact,  Vir- 
ginia long  claimed  a  large  part  of  western  Pennsylvania. 

A  man  named  Nicholas  Schull,  probably  the  most  noted  map 
maker  of  those  early  days,  made  a  map  of  the  new  county  of  Cum- 


berland  which  was  authorized  by  an  act  of  Parliament  in  January, 
1759.  Of  the  present  names  we  find  Kittatinny  and  Tuscarora 
Mountains,  Horse  Valley,  Juniata  and  Susquehanna  Rivers. 
Where  the  Cocolamus  Creek  is  located  he  has  a  stream  named  the 
"Kakonalamus  Creek."  "Shareman's  Creek"  is  also  on  this  map. 
In  the  Blue  Mountain  he  designates  one  gap  and  names  it  "Steven- 
son's." At  a  point  near  the  present  Perry-Juniata  County  line  a 
lone  settler  is  designated  as  "Barber's." 

In  1770  a  map  appeared  by  W.  Schull,  with  practically  the  same 
outlines  but  another  settlement  marked  "Logan's,"  located  on  the 
line  of  the  trail  from  Carlisle  to  Fort  Shirley.  The  Conococheague 
Mountain  is  also  marked  and  Logan's  appears  close  to  it.  Cro- 
ghan's  Gap  (  Sterrett's)  also  appears  for  the  first  time.  Other 
streams  added  are  Juniata  Creek,  Buffalo  Creek  and  Wild  Cat 
Run.  Near  the  site  of  Millerstown,  on  the  bend  of  the  Juniata 
below  Newport,  and  near  Marysville  appears  the  word  "Saut." 
(Salt,  in  Scotch.) 

When  the  commonwealth  was  new  and  its  first  governor,  Thomas 
Mifflin,  was  in  office,  a  map  appeared  which  contained  the  names 
of  the  four  townships  then  existing  in  what  is  now  the  county  of 
Perry,  as  follows :  Toboyne,  Tyrone,  Rye,  and  Greenwood. 
"Buffalo  Hills,"  "Mahanoy  Hill,"  and  "Limestone  Ridge"  appear 
for  the  first  time.  Many  mills  are  already  marked,  an  account  of 
which  appears  in  our  chapter  relating  to  "Old  Landmarks,  Mills 
and  Industries." 

On  a  map  in  the  Book  of  Deeds,  page  128,  in  the  office  of  the 
Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth,  the  territory  opposite  the  Cove 
and  located  in  Dauphin  County,  between  the  Blue  and  Peters' 
Mountains,  is  designated  as  "Saint  Anthony's  Wilderness." 


IT  has  virtually  been  handed  down  to  us  from  father  to  son, 
even  from  Plymouth  Rock  and  Jamestown,  that  somewhat  like 
another  nation,  we  were  in  a  sense  a  chosen  people — that  some- 
thing- greater  than  human  foresight,  something  greater  than  finite 
wisdom  had  guided  a  persecuted  people  to  these  shores  and  be- 
stowed vision  and  faith  upon  those  in  whom  rested  the  stupendous 
and  responsible  task  of  erecting  a  new  government  upon  an  un- 
heard of  scheme  and  following  a  new  standard  of  life. 

Strangely  enough,  the  first  suggestion  of  a  union  of  the  Ameri- 
can colonies  came  from  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  and  from 
its  proprietor,  William  Perm,  who,  as  early  as  1697,  suggested  it. 
The  pioneers  had  crossed  the  ocean  to  be  free,  but  as  the  colonies 
grew  in  size  and  in  trade  they  found  that  the  same  forces  that 
drew  them  from  the  mother  country  now  drew  them  together.  In 
1754  Benjamin  Franklin,  another  Pennsylvania!!,  elaborated  upon 
the  Penn  idea. 

When  the  first  congress  of  deputies  assembled  at  New  York  on 
October  7,  1765,  the  discerning  ones  saw  in  it  a  gleam  of  coming 
independence.  When  the  heel  of  British  oppression  had  descended 
with  heavy  tread  upon  the  rights  and  privileges  of  the  provinces 
and  they  arose  in  their  wrath  against  the  mother  country,  the  pio- 
neers who  inhabited  that  part  of  Cumberland  County  which  is  now 
Perry,  were  unable  to  offer  much  cash,  as  the  Indians  had  twice 
driven  them  from  their  homes,  scalped  and  carried  off  many,  stolen 
what  they  could  conveniently  remove  and  burned  or  destroyed  the 
remainder.  Under  such  circumstances  they  were  a  people  who 
really  needed  the  help  of  others  instead  of  being  called  upon  for 
help,  yet  notwithstanding  they  gave  of  their  substance,  and  to  the 
first  blast  of  the  bugle  calling  recruits  they  responded.  The  first 
settlers  to  return  after  the  second  Indian  invasion  in  1763  went 
back  in  1765,  so  that  but  ten  years  had  elapsed  until  the  necessity 
arose  to  defend  the  colonies.  An  effort,  fathered  at  Philadelphia, 
to  have  the  different  sections  of  the  province  send  delegates  to  a 
meeting  there  on  July  15,  1774,  to  consider  the  indignities  perpe- 
trated upon  the  provinces,  was  no  doubt  responsible  for  the  fol- 
lowing described  meeting: 

.  Echoing  down  the  centuries  is  this  first  official  record  relating 
to  independence  coming  from  Cumberland  County,  of  which  the 
Perry  County  territory  was  an  integral  part.     England,  through 



its  German-speaking  king,  was  oppressing  the  colonies,  especially 
New  England,  and  a  public  meeting  "of  the  freeholders  and  free- 
men" was  held  Tuesday,  July  12,  1774,  at  Carlisle,  with  John 
Montgomery,  Esq.,  in  the  chair.  These  resolutions  show  the  pa- 
triotic spirit  of  those  days,  just  as  boys  from  Perry  showed  it  in 
1918  at  Chauteau  Thierry  and  the  Argonne  Forest  in  the  World 
War,  and  as  it  was  shown  by  Perry  Countians  in  all  the  interven- 
ing wars.    The  resolutions : 

1.  Resolved,  That  the  late  act  of  the  Parliament  of  Great  Britain,  by 
which  the  port  of  Boston  is  shut  up,  is  oppressive  to  that  town,  and  sub- 
versive of  the  rights  and  liberties  of  the  colony  of  Massachusetts  Bay; 
that  the  principle  upon  which  the  act  is  founded,  is  not  more  subversive 
of  the  rights  and  liberties  of  that  colony,  than  it  is  of  all  other  British 
colonies  in  North  America;  and  therefore  the  inhabitants  of  Boston  are 
suffering  in  the  common  cause  of  all  the  colonies. 

2.  That  every  vigorous  and  prudent  measure  ought  speedily  and  unani- 
mously to  be  adopted  by  these  colonies  for  obtaining  redress  of  the  griev- 
ances under  which  the  inhabitants  of  Boston  are  now  laboring;  and  secur- 
ity from  grievance  of  the  same  or  of  a  still  more  severe  nature,  under 
which  they  and  the  other  inhabitants  of  the  colonies  may,  by  a  further 
operation  of  the  same  principle,  hereafter  labor. 

3.  That  a  congress  of  the  deputies  from  all  colonies  will  be  one  proper 
method   for  obtaining  these  purposes. 

4.  That  the  same  purposes  will,  in  the  opinion  of  this  meeting,  be  pro- 
moted by  an  agreement  of  all  the  colonies  not  to  import  any  merchandise 
from  nor  export  any  merchandise  to  Great  Britain,  Ireland  or  the  British 
West  Indies,  nor  to  use  any  merchandise  so  imported,  nor  tea  imported 
from  any  place  whatever  till  these  purposes  shall  be  obtained  ;  but  that 
the  inhabitants  of  this  county  will  join  any  restriction  of  that  agreement 
which  the  General  Congress  may  think  it  necessary  for  the  colonies  to 
confine  themselves  to. 

5.  That  the  inhabitants  of  this  county  will  contribute  to  the  relief  of 
their  suffering  brethren  in  Boston,  at  any  time  when  they  shall  receive  inti- 
mation that  such  relief  will  be  most  seasonable. 

6.  That  a  committee  be  immediately  appointed  from  this  county  to  cor- 
respond with  the  committee  of  this  province,  or  of  the  other  provinces, 
upon  the  great  objects  of  the  public  attention;  and  to  cooperate  in  every 
measure  conducting  to  the  general  welfare  of  British  America. 

7.  That  the  committee  consist  of  the  following  persons,  viz:  James  Wil- 
son, John  Armstrong,  John  Montgomery,  William  Irvine,  Robert  Callen- 
dar,  William  Thompson,  John  Calhoon,  Jonathon  Hoge,  Robert  Magaw, 
Ephraim  Blaine,  John  Allison,  John  Harris,  and  Robert  Miller,  or  any 
five  of  them. 

8.  That  James  Wilson,  Robert  Magaw,  and  William  Irvine  be  the  depu- 
ties appointed  to  meet  the  deputies  from  other  counties  of  this  province 
at  Philadelphia  on  Friday  next,  in  order  to  concert  measures  preparatory 
to  the  General  Congress.  John  Montgomery,  Chairman. 

The  new  nation,  the  United  States  of  America,  had  come  into 
being  because  the  people  could  not  help  it,  and  as  a  protest  against 
indignities,  taxes  and  officers  forced  upon  them  by  the  mother 
country,  rather  than  because  of  a  great  desire  for  it.  In  the  reso- 
lutions adopted  at  this  Cumberland  County  meeting,  including  what 


is  now  Perry,  the  colonies,  it  will  be  noted,  are  named  "British 
America."  Most  Americans  then  held  allegiance  to  their  states 
more  so  than  to  a  union  of  all,  and  many  believed  it  possible  to 
continue  thus,  independent  of  each  other  except  pledged  to  work 
together  on  foreign  affairs.  For  a  period  of  eleven  years — from 
1776  to  1787 — such  a  government,  in  fact,  existed.  George  Wash- 
ington, soon  to  be  the  first  President  of  the  United  States,  in  the 
meantime  was  conducting  a  movement  for  a  united  nation,  by  tak- 
ing the  matter  up  with  the  various  state  governors  and  otherwise. 
But  there  was  no  unanimity.  When  the  Constitutional  Convention 
met  in  Philadelphia  in  1787  two  great  men — Adams  and  Jefferson 
— were  absent  in  Europe  as  envoys ;  Patrick  Henry,  wedded  to 
"state's  rights,"  refused  to  attend,  and  John  Hancock,  Richard 
Henry  Lee,  and  Samuel  Adams,  all  fearing  a  too  central  govern- 
ment, remained  away.  Perry  Countians  will  do  well  to  remember 
that  among  the  representatives  was  James  Wilson,  then  only 
twenty-three  years  of  age,  of  Cumberland  (then  their  county), 
whom  all  historians  agree  was  the  most  learned  lawyer  in  the  con- 
vention and  who  afterwards  became  a  justice  of  the  United  States 
Supreme  Court.  In  1778  he  removed  to  Philadelphia.  He  was 
elected  to  Congress  in  1775  and  1782.  He  died  in  the  South,  in 
1798,  and  his  remains  rested  there  until  within  the  last  two  dec- 
ades, when  they  were  disinterred  and  removed  to  Philadelphia. 

James  McLene  was  a  member  from  the  county  to  the  Provincial 
Conference  of  June,  1776,  and  of  the  Constitutional  Convention 
of  the  same  year,  as  well  as  a  member  of  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council  from  Cumberland  County  in  1778-79,  serving  in  the  last 
named  body  from  Franklin  County  from  1784  to  1787. 

Continental  Congress  adopted  resolutions  on  May  15.  1775,  rec- 
ommending the  adoption  of  a  state  government  by  each  colony. 
This  resulted  in  a  provincial  conference  held  at  Philadelphia  on 
Tuesday,  June  18,  which  met  at  Carpenters'  Hall,  and  chose  Thomas 
McKean  president.  It  was  unanimously  resolved  that  a  convention 
should  be  called  to  form  a  new  government.  The  qualification  for 
voters  or  electors  were  made  as  follows :  must  have  attained  the 
age  of  twenty-one  years,  have  lived  in  the  province  one  year  or 
more,  must  have  paid  either  a  provincial  or  county  tax,  and  swear 
that  he  would  no  longer  bear  allegiance  to  King  George.  Repre- 
sentatives to  the  convention  needed  the  same  qualifications,  and  in 
addition  an  affidavit  that  he  "would  oppose  any  measures  that 
would  interfere  with  or  obstruct  the  religious  principles  or  prac- 
tices of  any  of  the  good  people  of  the  province,"  and  still  further, 
sign  a  declaration  of  faith  in  the  Trinity  and  in  the  Divine  inspira- 
tion of  the  Old  and  New  Testaments.  It  was  determined  that  each 
county  should  have  eight  representatives  or  members,  the  election 
of  whom  should  be  held  on  Monday,  July  8,  and  that  four  thou- 


sand,  five  hundred  militia  be  raised  to  join  a  flying  camp  to  con- 
sist of  ten  thousand  men  in  the  middle  colonies. 

The  convention  met  on  Monday,  July  15,  in  Philadelphia,  and 
Benjamin  Franklin  was  chosen  president.  It  continued,  including 
adjournments,  until  September  28,  when  the  Constitution  of  Penn- 
sylvania was  adopted  and  signed.  The  lawmaking  power  of  the 
state  was  vested  in  a  House  of  Representatives,  the  members  of 
which  were  to  be  chosen  annually  by  ballot  on  the  second  Tuesday 
of  October,  to  meet  the  fourth  Monday  of  the  same  month,  no 
member  of  which  could  serve  over  four  years.  This  body  was  to 
choose  annually  the  state  treasurer  and  delegates  to  the  United 
States  Congress,  of  which  no  one  could  be  a  member  for  more 
than  two  years  successively  and  not  be  eligible  for  membership 
again  until  three  years  had  elapsed.  Until  a  proper  apportionment 
could  be  made  each  county  was  to  have  six  members  of  this 

When  the  threatened  storm  approached,  our  people  were  equally 
firm  in  their  determination  to  resist  all  oppression.  They  made 
preparations,  adopted  measures  and  organized  for  defense.  From 
the  American  Archives,  Vol.  II,  page  516,  the  following  is  repro- 
duced, being  the  contents  of  a  letter  from  a  gentleman  writing 
May  6,  1775,  from  Carlisle,  the  county  seat: 

"Yesterday  the  county  committee  met  from  nineteen  townships,  on  the 
short  notice  they  had.  About  three  thousand  men  have  already  associated. 
The  arms  returned  amount  to  about  fifteen  hundred.  The  committee  have 
voted  five  hundred  effective  men,  besides  commissioned  officers,  to  be  im- 
mediately drafted,  taken  into  pay,  armed  and  disciplined,  to  march  on  the 
first  emergency ;  to  be  paid  and  supported  as  long  as  necessary,  by  a  tax 
on  all  estates,  real  and  personal,  in  the  county ;  the  returns  to  be  taken  by 
the  township  committees  ;  and  the  tax  laid  by  the  commissioners  and  as- 
sessors;    the  pay  of  the  officers  and  men  as  usual  in  times  past." 

"This  morning  we  met  again  at  eight  o'clock;  among  other  subjects  of 
inquiry  this  day,  the  mode  of  drafting  or  taking  into  pay,  arming  and 
victualling  immediately  the  men,  and  the  choice  of  field  and  other  officers, 
will  among  other  matters  be  the  subject  of  deliberation.  The  strength  or 
spirit  of  this  county,  perhaps  may  appear  small,  if  judged  by  the  number 
of  men  proposed  ;  but  when  it  is  considered  that  we  are  ready  to  raise 
fifteen  hundred  or  two  thousand,  should  we  have  support  from  the  prov- 
ince; and  that  independent,  and  in  uncertain  expectation  of  support,  we 
have  voluntarily  drawn  upon  this  county,  a  debt  of  about  £27,000  per 
annum,  I  hope  we  shall  not  appear  contemptible.  We  make  great  improve- 
ments in  military  discipline.     It  is  yet  uncertain  who  may  go." 

On  June  22,  1775,  the  "Colony  of  Pennsylvania,"  the  name  prov- 
ince having  become  obsolete,  was  authorized  to  raise  eight  com- 
panies of  expert  riflemen,  instead  of  six  companies,  as  authorized 
by  the  Continental  Congress  on  the  preceding  June  14,  to  proceed 
to  join  the  army  near  Boston.  The  result  was  that  nine  companies 
responded.  Cumberland  (always  remembering  that  it  still  included 
Perry)  sent  one  under  command  of  Captain  William  Hendricks, 


its  first  offering  upon  the  altar  of  liberty.  It  was  one  of  two  com- 
panies to  be  assigned  to  accompany  General  Benedict  Arnold  (he 
who  later  became  a  traitor)  in  his  difficult  and  historical  march 
through  Maine  to  the  stronghold  of  Quebec.  Captain  Hendricks 
is  recorded  as  a  brave  and  good  officer,  but  doomed  to  be  killed  in 
the  attack  January  1,  1776.  These  men  were  all  enlisted  in  Tune 

Cumberland  County  then  embraced  all  of  Perry,  and  this  com- 
pany was  composed  also  of  men  from  the  present  counties  of 
Juniata  and  Mifflin  (also  a  part  of  Cumberland),  and  at  this  late 
date  there  is  no  way  of  distinguishing  the  sections  to  which  each 
inhabited,  hence  the  entire  list  is  reprinted. 

Roster  of  Captain  Hendricks'  Company. 

Captain,  William  Hendricks.    Killed  at  Quebec 

First  Lieutenant,  John  McClellan.     Died  on  march,  November  ■*    177, 

Second  Lieutenant,  *Francis  Nichols  vcinuer  3,  i7/5. 

Third  Lieutenant,  George  Francis 

terSo7T"7^'.D/HTh0mr?S  Gib|?n'  °! L  Carlisle   <died  at  V*^'  Forge,  win- 
ter of  i/78)  ;   ♦Henry  Crone,  *Joseph  Greer,  *William  McCoy. 

at- j        j    a  Privates: 

*Edward  Agnew. 

George  Albright. 

♦Thomas  Anderson. 

♦Philip  Boker,  w.  at  Quebec. 

*John  Blair. 

^Alexander  Burns. 

♦Peter  Burns. 

♦William  Burns. 
John  Campbell,  k.  at  Quebec. 

♦Daniel  Carlisle. 

♦John  Corswill. 

*Roger  Casey. 

*Joseph  Caskey. 

♦John  Chambers. 

♦Thomas  Cooke,  later  a  lieutenant 

*John  Cove. 

John  Craig,  later  a  lieutenant 
*Matthew  Cumming. 

Arthur  Eckles. 
♦Peter  Frainer. 
♦Francis  Furlow. 
*William  Gommel. 
*John  Gardner. 
♦Daniel  Graham. 
*James  Greer. 
♦Thomas  Greer. 
*John  Hardy. 
:  Elijah  Herdy. 

*John  Henderson,  w.  at  Quebec 
*James  Hogge. 
*James   Inload. 
*Dennis  Kelley,  k.  at  Quebec. 
*Wm.  Kirkpatrick. 
♦Robert  Lynch. 
♦David   Lamb. 
♦Thomas  Lesley. 
Those  marked  with  an  asterisk   (*)   were  captured 

John   Lorain. 
*John  McChesney 
♦Daniel  McClellan. 
*Richard  McClure. 
Henry  McCormick. 
Henry  McEwen. 
♦Archibald  McFarlane,  escaped. 
♦Barnabas  McGuire. 
♦John  McLinn. 
John  McMurdy. 
♦Jacob  Mason. 
♦Philip  Maxwell. 
♦George  Morrison. 
♦George  Morrow. 
Edward  Morton. 
♦Thomas  Mordoch. 
♦Daniel  North. 
♦Daniel  O'Hara. 
♦William  O'Hara. 
♦John  Ray. 
♦James  Reed. 
George  Rinehart. 
♦Edward  Rodden. 
♦William  Shannon. 
♦William  Smith 
♦William  Snell. 
♦Robert  Steel. 
Hugh  Sweeney. 
Edward  Sweeney. 
♦Abraham  Swaggerty,  Quebec 

Matthew   Taylor. 
♦Henry  Turpentine. 
♦Michael  Young. 
♦Thomas  Witherof. 
♦Joseph  Wright. 


Colonel  William  Irvine  was  commissioned  in  [anuary,  1776,  as 
commander  of  the  Sixth  Battalion,  Pennsylvania  Troops.  One  of 
the  companies,  under  Capt.  William  Bratton,  of  what  is  now  Mif- 
flin County,  contained  soldiers  whose  homes  were  within  the  con- 
fines of  present  Mifflin,  Juniata,  and  Perry  Counties.  The  roster 
of  that  company  follows : 

William  Bratton,  Capt.  Henry,   Francis. 

Thomas  McCoy,  Lient.  Higgins,  James. 

Amos  Chapman,  Sergt.  Lee,  Fergus. 

Thomas  Giles,  Sergt.  Lloyd,  Peter. 

Timothy  O'Neil,  Sergt.  Lowden,  Richard. 

Edward  Steen,  Drummer.  McCay,  Gilbert. 

John  Waun,  Fifer.  McCay,  Neil. 

Privates:  frCr^iald'  ?a?ick 

McGhegan,  John. 

Beatty,  John.  McKean,   John. 

Carman,  William.  Martin,  Peter. 

Carter,  Patrick.  Moore,    Fergus. 

Daley,  John.  Prent,  John. 

Donovan,  Daniel.  Redstone,  William. 

Edgarton,  Edward  Rooney,  Peter. 

Elliott,  James.  Ryan,  John. 

German.  Henry.  Shockey,  Patrick. 

Giles,  Thomas.  Simonton,  James. 

Gilmore,  Michael.  Simonton,  Thomas 

Hall,  David.  Taylor,  John. 

On  March  15,  1777,  the  battalion  was  reorganized  at  Carlisle, 
and  became  the  Seventh  Pennsylvania  Regiment  of  the  Continental 
Army.  The  men  composing  it  were  paid  and  mustered  out,  at 
Carlisle,  during  April,  1781.  Captain  Bratton  was  wounded  at 
the  Battle  of  Germantown,  and  a  township  in  Mifflin  County  was 
named  in  his  honor. 

In  several  other  companies  there  were  a  few  men  from  what  is 
now  Perry  County  territory,  but  how  to  distinguish  them  is  a 
question.  In  the  above  roster,  however,  any  one  familiar  with  the 
names  of  Perry  County  families  will  easily  distinguish  many  of 

After  January  I,  1776,  this  company  became  a  part  of  the  First 
Regiment  of  the  Army  of  the  United  Colonies,  commanded  by 
General  George  Washington,  later  to  become  first  President  of 
the  United  States. 

Thacher's  Military  Journal  described  the  men  of  this  battalion 
as  follows : 

"Several  companies  of  riflemen  have  arrived  here  from  Pennsylvania 
and  Maryland,  a  distance  of  from  five  hundred  to  seven  hundred  miles. 
They  are  remarkably  stout  and  hardy  men,  many  of  them  exceeding  six 
feet  in  height.  They  are  dressed  in  rifle  shirts  and  round  hats.  These 
men  are  remarkable  for  the  accuracy  of  their  aim,  striking  a  mark  with 
great  certainty  at  two  hundred  yards'  distance.  At  a  review  a  company 
of  them,  while  on  a  quick  advance,  fired  their  balls  into  objects  of  seven- 
inch  diameter,  at  a  distance  of  two  hundred  and  fifty  yards.  They  are 
now  stationed  on  our  lines  and  their  shot  have  frequently  proved  fatal  to 
British  officers  and   soldiers." 


Colonel  William  Thompson,  of  Carlisle,  was  in  command.  The 
Continental  Congress  had  determined  to  reenlist  the  regiment,  but 
General  Washington,  unaware  of  their  intentions,  wrote:  "They 
are  indeed  a  very  useful  corps;  but  I  need  not  mention  this,  as 
their  importance  is  already  well  known  to  the  Congress."  On  the 
following  July  1  the  entire  regiment  reenlisted  and  became  the 
First  Regiment  of  the  Pennsylvania  line  in  the  Continental  service. 

Almost  every  Perry  County  school  boy  and  girl  is  familiar  with 
the  historical  facts  relating  to  Benedict  Arnold's  treason  and  the 
attending  execution  of  Major  Andre,  the  British  officer  who  was 
apprehended  while  engaged  in  the  nefarious  project,  yet  how  many 
of  even  the  grown  people  know  that  he  was  once  imprisoned  at 


Here    sat    Gen.    Frederick   Watts,    whose    home    was    in    what    is    now 

Wheatfield  Township,   Perry   County,   as   a   Member  of  the    Supreme 

Executive    Council,    which   governed    the    new    State    until    the    Union 

was  formed. 

Carlisle  and  that  a  company  of  soldiers  from  what  is  now  Perry 
County,  under  command  of  an  officer  from  the  same  territory, 
threatened  to  take  his  life?     The  facts  are  these: 

During  the  Revolution  Carlisle  was  made  an  important  post  for 
American  troops,  and,  by  reason  of  its  being  far  from  the  line  of 
actual  hostilities,  British  prisoners  were  frequently  confined  there. 
Among  such  were  two  officers,  Major  Andre  and  Lieutenant 
Despard,  who  had  been  captured  by  Montgomery  at  Lake  Cham- 
plain.  While  there  in  1776  they  occupied  a  stone  house  on  the 
corner  of  South  Hanover  Street  and  Locust  Alley,  and  were  on 
parole  of  honor  with  a  six-mile  limit,  but  required  to  wear  military 

In  the  same  neighborhood  lived  Mrs.  Ramsey,  an  unflinching 
W7hig  and  even  a  greater  American,  who  detected  two  tories  in 
conversation  with  them  and  made  information  to  the  authorities. 
The  tories  were  pursued  and  arrested  near  South  Mountain, 
brought  back,  tried  at  once  and  imprisoned.     Letters  written  in 


French  were  found  upon  them,  but  no  one  was  able  to  read  them. 
Arnold  and  Despard  had  been  in  the  habit  of  going  hunting  within 
the  limits  of  their  parole,  but  were  now  barred  from  leaving  town. 
Accordingly  they  broke  their  fowling  pieces,  declaring  that  no 
d rebel  should  ever  burn  powder  in  them.  During  their  con- 
finement there  a  man  named  Thompson,  from  what  is  now 
I  Vrry  County,  enlisted  a  company  of  militia  in  that  district  and 
marched  them  to  Carlisle.  Whether  eager  to  display  his  recruits 
or  not  we  know  not,  but  at  night  he  drew  his  company  up  in  front 
of  this  stone  house  and  "swore  lustily,"  records  tell  us,  "that  he 
would  have  their  lives,  as  Americans  who  were  prisoners  in  hands 
of  the  British  were  dying  of  starvation." 

Through  the  entreaties  of  this  same  Mrs.  Ramsey,  Captain 
Thompson,  who  had  formerly  been  an  apprentice  to  her  husband, 
was  induced  to  leave.  He  departed,  with  a  menacing  nod  of  his 
head,  and  the  exclamation,  "You  may  thank  my  old  mistress  for 
your  lives."  The  next  morning  she  received  a  very  polite  note 
from  the  British  officers  thanking  her  for  saving  them  from  the 
valiant  Captain  Thompson.  They  were  later  removed  to  York, 
and  before  leaving  sent  to'  Mrs.  Ramsey  a  box  of  spermacetti 
candles,  a  rare  article  in  those  days,  with  a  note  thanking  her  for 
her  many  kind  favors.  She  returned  them  with  a  polite  note  to 
the  effect  that  she  was  too  staunch  a  Whig  to  accept  a  gratuity 
from  a  British  officer.  Despard  was  executed  in  London  in  1803 
for  high  treason,  and  with  Arnold's  fate  the  reader  is  familiar. 

Committees  of  Observation  were  appointed  throughout  the  colo- 
nics, the  committees  representing  the  home  county  being  composed 
of  James  Wilson,  John  Montgomery,  Robert  Callendar,  William 
Thompson,  John  Calhoun,  Jonathan  Hoge,  Robert  Magaw,  Eph- 
raim  Blaine,  John  Allison,  John  Harris,  Robert  Miller,  John  Arm- 
strong, and  William  Irvine. 

Throughout  the  colonies  there  appeared  here  and  there  sympa- 
thizers with  the  mother  country,  known  in  their  day  as  "tories," 
and  the  prototype  of  their  ilk  known  as  "copperheads"  during  the 
war  between  the  States  and  as  "German-Americans"  and  "paci- 
fists" during  the  recent  great  World  War.  The  English  language 
does  not  contain  words  loathsome  enough  to  describe  men  of  that 
class,  who  gladly  enjoy  the  pleasures,  advantages  and  protection 
which  their  land  affords,  and  yet  are  traitors  of  the  foulest  stripe. 
That  such  an  one  had  settled  north  of  the  Kittatinny  Mountain, 
in  the  territory  which  later  became  Perry  County,  is  recorded  with 
deep  regret,  but  from  the  public  records  his  infamy  passes  to  pos- 
terity. The  affidavit  is  self-explanatory: 
"Cumberland  County,   ss. : 

"Before  me,  C.eorge  Robinson,  one  of  His  Majesty's  Justices,  for  said 
county,    personally    appeared    Clef  ton     Bowen,    who,    being    duly    exam- 


ined  and  sworn,  doth  depose  and  say :  that  some  time  in  the  month  of 
January  last,  he,  this  deponent,  was  in  the  house  of  John  Montgomery,  in 
Tryone  Township,  in  company  with  a  certain  Edward  Erwin,  of  Rye 
Township,  and  this  deponent  says  he  then  and  there  heard  said  Erwin 
drink  damnation  and  confusion  to  the  Continental  Congress,  and  damn 
their  proceedings,  saying  they  were  all  a  parcel  of  damned  rebels,  and 
against  spring  would  be  cut  off  like  a  parcel  of  snowbirds,  and  more  such 

"Sworn   and   subscribed  before  George   Robinson,   19th   February,    1776. 

"Clefton  Bowen." 

In  addition  to  Erwin  there  were  a  number  of  others  of  the  same 
ilk  who  left  the  territory  soon  after  the  British  gained  possession 
of  Philadelphia  and  joined  them  there.  The  list  includes,  accord- 
ing to  the  Pennsylvania  Archives,  Alexander  McDonald,  Kennet 
McKenzie,  and  Edward  Erwin,  all  of  Rye  Township,  farmers  on 
small  farms,  and  William  McPherson,  William  Smith,  and  Hugh 
Gwin,  of  Tyrone  Township.  The  latter  was  a  laborer  and  Mc- 
Pherson and  Smith,  blacksmiths.     Their  property  was  confiscated. 

A  citizen  by  the  name  of  Job  Stretch,  who  had  taken  up  lands 
in  what  is  now  Juniata  Township,  was  an  intense  loyalist  during 
the  Revolution,  but  began  finding  things  getting  "too  warm"  for 
him  and  left  for  Canada,  where  he  settled. 

Leads  Cornwalljs'  Army  Into  Captivity. 

To  one  from  within  the  limits  of  what  now  comprises  Perry 
County  was  accorded  one  of  the  greatest  honors  of  the  entire 
Revolution.  When  the  army  of  the  mighty  Cornwallis,  the  British 
general,  laid  down  their  arms,  at  Yorktown,  the  entire  army,  save 
the  officers,  was  placed  in  charge  of  the  command  of  Colonel 
George  Gibson  (father  of  the  late  Chief  Justice  Gibson),  under 
whose  command  they  were  marched  to  York,  Pennsylvania,  where 
they  were  prisoners  of  war.  Imagine,  if  you  can,  the  army  of  that 
great  empire,  prisoners,  in  the  hands  of  a  native  of  the  soil  which 
comprises  our  little  county  of  Perry. 

*Almost  seventy  years  after  the  ending  of  the  Revolution,  on 
March  2,  1856,  the  last  funeral  in  Perry  County  of  a  soldier  of  the 
Revolution  occurred.  It  was  that  of  William  Heim,  of  Jackson 
Township,  father  of  Rev.  John  W.  Heim,  who  was  the  last  sur- 
vivor. He  was  aged  about  ninety-five  years  and  could  relate  from 
memory  many  of  the  incidents  which  resulted  in  the  declaration 
of  war.     The  funeral  of  Andrew  Losh,  of  Wheatfield  Township, 

*William  Heim  was  not  recruited  from  this  territory,  however,  but 
moved  here  from  Northumberland  County  in  1815  and  became  a  citizen. 
He  was  ninety-five  years  of  age,  and  150  horsemen  escorted  his  funeral 
cortege,  this  being  the  only  instance  of  this  kind  on  record  here.  He  is 
said  to  have  asked  the  national  government  for  a  pension  in  his  later  years, 
but  being  unable  to  furnish  other  evidence  than  the  existence  of  his  name 
on  the  company  roll,  he  never  received  it.  The  state  rewarded  his  services 
with  a  small  annuity. 


occurring  after  his  death  on  April  12,   i8a<),  at  the  age  of  ninety- 
eight,  was  the  next  last  of  Revolutionary  veterans. 

Another  prominent  name  connected  with  the  Revolution  from 
the  local  territory  was  that  of  Capt.  Alexander  Stephens,  who  had 
located  near  the  Baskins'  Ferry  (now  northern  Duncannon).  He 
wed  a  daughter  of  James  Baskins  and  became  the  grandfather 
of  Alexander  H.  Stephens,  Vice-President  of  the  Confederacy,  to 
whom  a  chapter  in  this  book  is  devoted.  The  head  of  this  par- 
ticular Stephens  clan  in  America  was  an  intelligent  man,  as  evi- 
denced by  various  documents  from  his  pen  which  we  have  been 
privileged  to  read.  He  entered  the  war  as  a  private  in  the  Fourth 
Company  of  the  Fifth  Battalion  of  the  Cumberland  County  con- 
tingent. He  was  also  in  the  French  and  Indian  War,  being  present 
at  Braddock's  defeat  as  a  member  of  Capt.  Joseph  Shippen's  com- 
pany of  Col.  William  Clapham's  regiment. 

Some;  of  the;  Patriots. 

George  Albright,  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Buck's  Valley,  went  to 
serve  his  country,  his  wife,  a  servant  girl  and  several  small  boys  doing  the 
farming.  Mrs.  Albright  and  the  servant  girl  carried  bags  of  grain  to  the 
river  on  horseback.  Leaving  their  horses  there  they  placed  the  grain  bags 
in  canoes  and  went  down  the  river  to  the  nearest  mill,  then  at  Dauphin. 
While  they  waited  until  the  grain  was  ground  and  they  rowed  the  precious 
load  of  flour  up  the  river,  the  distance  being  about  fifteen  miles.  Albright 
returned  home  at  the  close  of  the  war  and  was  a  respected  citizen  of  the 
little  valley  the  balance  of  his  days. 

Benjamin  Bonsall,  Sr.,  of  Greenwood  Township,  served  at  Valley  Forge 
with  Washington  during  the  dark  days  when  they  had  little  to  wear  and 
little  to  eat.     Aged  eighty-nine  years,  he  died  in  1845. 

Thomas  Brown,  of  Tyrone  Township,  patriot  to  the  core,  provided  in  his 
will  for  the  reading  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  over  his  open 
grave,  after  which  the  minister  was  to  pray  for  him  and  his  beloved 

Andrew  Burd,  a  fourteen-year-old  boy  from  Greenwood  Township,  en- 
tered the  army  as  a  fifer  and  served  seven  years,  being  mustered  out  in 
time  to  get  his  first  vote. 

Edward  Donelly,  of  Buckwheat  Valley,  was  a  member  of  the  Colonial 

The  Smiley  family,  of  Carroll  Township, -had  five  members  in  the  Revo- 
lution, as  follows:  Thomas  Smiley,  an  ensign  in  Colonel  Watts'  battalion; 
John,  George,  William,  and  Samuel  Smiley. 

William  Wallis,  who  was  a  resident  of  what  is  now  Juniata  Township, 
Perry  County,  served  through  the  Revolution  and  received  for  pay  a  cer- 
tificate of  service,  which  he  exchanged  for  a  set  of  blacksmith  tools  later  on. 

David  Focht,  one  of  Perry  County's  first  settlers,  a  resident  of  Jackson 
Township,  was  in  the  army. 

Note. — According  to  information  given  to  Mrs.  Lelia  Dromgold  Emig, 
author  of  the  Hench-Dromgold  genealogy,  a  number  of  Revolutionary  sol- 
diers are  interred  in  the  following  cemeteries :  Loysville  cemetery,  John 
Hench,  Michael  Loy,  John  Hench  II,  and  John  Yohn  ;  Donnally's  Mills, 
Edward  Donally  and  George  Hench  ;  cemetery  on  ridge  near  Elliottsburg, 
Frederick  Shull ;    George  Hench,  Duncannon. 


Benjamin  Kssick,  of  Liverpool  Township,  served  in  the  militia  and  lived 
to  be  ninety-three. 

Alexander  Gaily,  a  resident  of  the  Cove,  Penn  Township,  served  in  the 
Revolution  and  lived  until  1842,  being  then  102  years  old. 

Andrew  Lynch,  of  Tuscarora  Township,  was  in  the  service  of  his  coun- 
try during  the  Revolution. 

"William  Patterson,  of  Petersburg,  Rye  Township  (Duncannon),  was  in 
the  service  a  year,  and  in  later  years  used  to  tell  of  "the  tories"  mustering 
on  Young's  Hill. 

Frederick  Watt,  later  general  in  the  patriot  army,  whose  biography  ap- 
pears elsewhere  in  this  book,  was  wounded  in  the  mouth  at  the  Wyoming 
massacre,  where  he  served  with  Colonel  Zebulon  Butler,  who  fought  Brit- 
ish, tory,  and  Indian  forces  of  thrice  his  strength. 

Englehart  Wormley,  one  of  the  first  settlers,  was  in  the  battle  of  Long 
Island.     He  died  in  1827. 

Greenwood  Township  also  furnished  John  Buchanan,  whose  descendants 
long  lived  in  the  same  vicinity;  Robert  Moody,  William  Rodgers,  William 
Philips,  and  others. 

The  state  pensioned  disabled  Revolutionary  soldiers,  and  among  the 
documents  in  the  Bureau  of  Public  Records  at  Harrisburg,  is  a  deposition, 
No.  317,  relating  to  Robert  Pendergrass,  a  sergeant,  pensioned  April  12, 
1821,  at  $48  per  annum.  The  oath  of  Hugh  Sweeny  is  executed  before 
Jacob  Fritz,  a  Perry  County  justice,  which  makes  it  practically  certain 
that  Sweeny  was  from  Perry.  Pendergrass  was  likely  from  Cumberland. 
Part  of  the  deposition  verifieth  "that  he  (Sweeny)  was  well  acquainted 
with  Pendergrass,  that  he  enlisted  in  Capt.  John  Hays'  company,  that  they 
both  marched  from  Carlisle  on  the  sixth  of  April,  1776,  on  their  way  to 
Kenedy  (Canada),  that  Pendergrass  remained  in  the  service  four  years, 
all  of  which  time  they  were  acquainted  and  part  of  the  time  messmates." 

Capt.  Jonathon  Robison,  of  Sherman's  Valley,  was  a  son  of  George 
Robinson,  and  suffered  much  in  the  Indian  wars.  Although  above  fifty 
years  of  age  he  entered  the  Colonial  Army.  With  his  company  he  was  in 
the  battle  of  Princeton,  being  stationed  there  for  some  time  to  guard 
against  the  British  and  to  act  as  scouts  and  intercept  foraging  parties. 

Joseph  Martin,  a  resident  of  what  is  now  Howe  Township,  who  became 
a  captain  in  the  Revolution,  sold  a  house  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Juniata, 
March  26,  1776,  for  fifty  pounds,  with  which  to  purchase  his  horse  and 
equipment  for  the  army.  After  spending  that  bitter  winter  with  Washing- 
ton's army  at  Valley  Forge,  he  was  taken  with  camp  fever,  and  started  for 
home,  but  never  arrived.  Whether  he  perished  in  the  wilderness  or  was 
captured  and  tortured  to  death  by  the  British,  as  tradition  says,  will  never 
be  known. 

*Silas  Wright,  in  his  History  of  Perry  County,  says:  "The  Tories 
mustered  their  troops  during  the  Revolutionary  War  on  Young's  Hill," 
adjoining  Duncannon.  He  probably  based  the  statement  upon  that  of  one 
William  Patterson.  That  fact,  often  quoted,  seems  legendary,  as  Dun- 
cannon (then  known  as  Clark's  Ferry)  was  not  laid  out  in  lots  until  1792, 
and  according  to  a  reliable  tradition,  there  were  only  eight  houses  from 
the  cabins  surrounding  the  old  forge  to  Clark's  Run  as  late  as  1830.  When 
the  Revolution  was  taking  place  there  evidently  were  very  few  houses 
there,  and  just  where  these  Tories  came  from  would  be  hard  to  determine. 
Furthermore,  there  are  provincial  records  of  all  Tory  movements  and 
Tories  and  nothing  like  that  appears  in  the  annals  of  the  province,  while 
even  the  few  British  sympathizers  within  the  territory  are  recorded  as 
will  be  seen  in  the  foregoing  pages. 


In  the  Loysville  cemetery  also  rests  Abraham  Smith,  a  Revolutionary 
soldier,  but  from  what  territory  is  not  known.  John  Ramsey,  who  resided 
in  the  county,  was  another.  Valentine  Ritter  was  in  the  Revolution  from 
Berks  County,  and  after  the  war  located  near  Loysville. 

Adam  Smith,  great-grandfather  of  the  late  John  M.  and  Alvin  Smith, 
of  Newport,  served  in  the  Continental  Army,  but  not  from  what  is  now 
Perry  County. 

Peter  Kipp  served  with  the  Sixth  Company  of  Second  New  York  Ar- 
tillery in  the  patriot  army,  his  name  appearing  on  the  rolls  until  July  10, 
1783.  At  the  close  of  the  war  he  settled  in  Buck's  Valley,  Buffalo  Town- 
ship, where  he  married  Margaret  Finton.  He  was  a  tailor  and  followed 
his  trade,  going  from  house  to  house,  as  was  the  custom.  His  brother 
Jacob,  who  enlisted  in  the  same  unit  on  the  same  day,  was  killed  in  the 
battle  of   the   Brandywine. 

George  Hench,  who  had  settled  in  Perry  County  before  the  Revolution, 
was  a  fifer  in  the  army. 

John  Stewart,  a  Revolutionary  soldier  of  Carlisle,  settled  in  Perry 
County  prior  to  1800,  and  his  descendants  live  in  the  county. 

In  the  Millerstown  cemetery,  besides  Benjamin  Bonsall,  who  died  in  1845, 
aged  89  years,  are  buried  two  other  Revolutionary  patriots.  Ephraim 
Williams,  a  cabinetmaker,  died  August  15,  1843,  aged  86  years,  and  Robert 
Porter  (grandfather  of  the  late  T.  P.  Cochran),  who  was  86  at  his  death 
and  said  to  have  been  an  officer. 

Francis  DeLancey,  located  on  a  farm  near  Kistler,  after  serving  in  the 
Revolution  under  General  Lafayette,  with  whom  he  came  from  France. 
He  was  first  married  to  a  French  woman  in  New  York,  from  whom  are 
descended  William  and  Oliver  DeLancey,  attorneys,  whose  father  was 
Bishop  DeLancey.  Dr.  C.  E.  DeLancey  and  brothers  are  his  grandsons 
from  the  second  marriage.     He  lived  to  be  eighty-three. 

David  Mitchell,  who  first  resided  upon  the  farm  from  which  the  lands 
for  the  county  seat  of  Perry  County  were  taken,  was  in  the  Provincial 
Army  under  Forbes  and  Bouquet,  as  a  subaltern  officer,  and  served  in  the 
Revolution  as  a  major  in  Colonel  Frederick  Watts'  battalion.  He  was 
appointed  by  Governor  McKean,  in  May,  1800,  as  brigadier  general  of 
the  militia  of  Perry  and  Franklin  Counties.  He  represented  his  county 
(then  Cumberland)  continuously  in  the  legislature  for  twenty  years,  from 
1786  to  1805,  and  was  a  presidential  elector  in  1813  and  1817.  He  was  a 
son  of  John  and  Agnes  Mitchell,  and  was  born  July  17,  1742,  in  what  later 
became  Cumberland  County.  He  died  May  25,  1818,  on  the  Juniata,  above 

That  the  territory  which  later  became  Perry  County  did  well  in 
the  way  of  furnishing  men  who  then  resided  there  or  had  previ- 
ously been  residents,  as  officers,  is  not  a  matter  of  question.  By 
referring  to  the  chapter  in  this  book  devoted  to  the  Blaine  family 
it  will  be  noted  that  Ephraim  Blaine,*  once  a  resident  of  the  vicin- 
ity of  Blain,  Perry  County,  was  Commissary  General  of  the  Colo- 
nial Army  and  the  associate  of  General  George  Washington.  There 
appears  the  story  of  his  wonderful  saving  of  the  Revolutionary 
army,  which  places  him  second  only  to  Washington  himself.  Near 
the  close  of  1776  or  the  beginning  of  1777,  when  battalions  began 

*In  the  Manuscript  Division  of  the  Congressional  Library,  Washington, 
there  is  a  valuable  collection  of  Letters  of  Col.  Ephraim  Blaine.  (See 
page  629.) 


to  be  designated  by  numerals,  we  find  Col.  Epbraim  Blaine  in 
charge  of  the  First  Battalion.  His  service  must  have  been  brief 
there  as  he  is  soon  found  to  be  filling  the  responsible  post  of  Com- 
missary General.  The  Second  Battalion  was  commanded  by  Col. 
|ohn  Allison,  described  as  "a  justice  of  the  peace  of  Tyrone  Town- 
ship, over  the  mountain,  and  a  judge  of  the  county,  but  after  his 
retirement,  for  he  was. now  past  middle  life."  In  1778  we  find 
the  Fourth  Battalion  commanded  by  Colonel  Jonathon  Robison, 
"of  Sherman's  Valley."  The  battalion  composed  entirely  of  men 
"from  north  of  the  mountain,"  was  commanded  by  Col.  Frederick 
Watts,  and  another  by  Major  David  Mitchell. 

While  the  Revolution  was  waged  by  the  British  government,  yet 
it  was  largely  a  personal  war  of  the  German-speaking  George  III, 
who  could  not  get  enough  of  his  own  people  interested  to  fight 
their  own  kinsmen,  but  had  to  fall  back  on  hirelings — the  Hessians 
— who  fought  for  pay.  Strangely  enough,  the  histories  in  our 
public  schools  are  not  specific  upon  that  fact,  which  is  largely  re- 
sponsible for  the  feeling  against  Great  Britain  in  America,  al- 
though we  dwell  alongside  of  one  of  their  great  dependencies  and 
not  a  single  fort  worthy  of  the  name  guards  the  four  thousand- 
mile  border  on  either  side — unlike  that  of  the  old  German  mon- 
archy, along  whose  borders  frowned  huge  fortresses  on  every 
hand.  The  writer,  however,  holds  no  brief  for  the  British  Em- 
pire, neither  has  he  any  patience  with  those  who  would  give  that 
nation  equal  rights  in  the  Panama  Canal. 

The  Continental  Congress,  July  18,  1875,  recommended  that 
"all  able-bodied,  effective  men  between  sixteen  and  fifty  years  of 
age  should  immediately  form  themselves  into  companies  of  militia, 
to  consist  of  one  captain,  two  lieutenants,  one  ensign,  four  ser- 
geants, four  corporals,  one  clerk,  one  drummer,  one  fifer,  and 
about  sixty-eight  privates ;  the  companies  to  be  formed  into  regi- 
ments or  battalions,  officered  with  a  colonel,  lieutenant  colonel,  two 
majors,  and  an  adjutant  or  quartermaster;  all  officers  above  the 
rank  of  captain  to  be  appointed  by  the  provincial  authorities." 

Colonel  Frederick  Watts'  Battalion. 

Although  occupation  of  the  county  territory  was  in  its  primary 
stage  practically  the  whole  of  the  Seventh  Battalion  of  Cumber- 
land County  Militia,  with  Colonel  Frederick  Watts  in  command, 
was  recruited  here,  and  the  battalion  became  a  unit  July  31,  I777> 
in  the  patriot  army,  although  many  of  the  men  had  been  in  the 
service  at  an  earlier  date.  There  is  record  of  some  of  them  as 
early  as  the  beginning  of  1776,  and  Colonel  Watts  was  present  at 
.the  surrender  of  Fort  Washington,  November  16,  1776.  Early  in 
1776  there  is  record  of  the  forwarding  of  an  order  for  funds  to 
cover  the  expense  of  forwarding  his  men  to  camp. 



The  Staff. — Colonel.  Frederick  Watts;  Lieutenant  Colonel,  Samuel  Ross; 
Major,  David  Mitchell;  Adjutant,  Thomas  Bolan ;  Quartermaster,  Albert 

First  Company. — Captain,  James  Fisher;  First  Lieutenant,  Thomas 
Fisher ;    Second  Lieutenant,   Robert  Scott ;    Ensign,  Joseph  Sharpe. 

John  Montgomery. 

James  Baxter. 

Francis  McGarvey. 

William  Robertson. 

Ross  Mitchell. 

James  Shields. 

Samuel  Hutchinson. 

James  Gaudy. 

Benjamin  Chambers. 

James  Edmondstone. 

James  Roddy. 

James  Menoch. 

Edward  Nicholson. 

Thomas  Mclntire. 

William  Ferguson. 

John  Black. 

Mathias  Sweezy. 
The    rank   and    file    of    this   company    is    named    as    fifty-eight,    yet    the 
above-named  is  a  copy  of  the   roll  of  July,   1777,  as  printed  in  the  State 

Patrick  Cree. 
Hugh   Evans. 
Alexander  Akins. 
George  Brown. 
Robert  Boggs. 
Thomas  Williams. 
John  Campbell. 
James  Rhea. 
Robert  Purdy. 
Isaac  Somers. 
Robert  Walker. 
Robert  Chew. 
Robert  Heatly. 
James  Ardery. 
John  Piper. 
George  Biddle. 

Second    Company. — Captain,    James 
Marshall ;    Second   Lieutenant,   Samuel 

David  Carson. 

Andrew  Shaw. 

James  Smith. 

William  Elliott. 

William  McConnell. 

John  Crawford. 

Samuel  Byars. 

Archibald   Kinkead. 

Andrew  Everhart. 

Robert  Creigh. 

James  Horn. 

John  McNaughton. 

Alexander  Fullerton. 

Daniel  Mulhollin. 

James  Barker. 
The   number   of   this  company  is  na 
names  are  all  that  appear  in  the  State 

Power ;     First    Lieutenant,    David 
Shaw;    Ensign,  John   Kirkpatrick. 

John  Hunter. 

Thomas  McKee. 

William  McCoy. 

John  McCoy. 

George  McLeve. 

David  Baird. 

David  McClintock. 

Samuel  Glass. 

James  White. 

Robert  Johnstone. 

John  Phillips. 

Benjamin  Hillhouse. 

Patrick  Killian. 

Richard  Taylor. 

William  Smiley, 
med  as   sixty-seven,   yet   the   above 
Archives,  as  of  September,  1777. 

Third  Company. — Captain,  Wil 
Black;    Second  Lieutenant,  John 
William  Murray. 
George  Dixson. 
George  Wallace. 
Michael  Kirkpatrick. 
Thomas  McTee. 
Robert  McKebe. 
William  Miller. 
William  Chain. 
John  Sanderson. 
John  McLean. 
John  McCown. 
David  Miller. 
Thomas  Noble. 

liam  Sanderson  ;   First  Lieutenant.  George 
Simonton  ;    Ensign,  Archibald  Loudon. 

David  McClure. 

George  Brown. 

Thomas  Adams. 

David  Hartnis. 

Samuel  Galbreath. 

William  Cams. 

James  Gaily. 

John  Sedgwick. 

Robert  McCabe. 

William  Gardner,  Jr. 

John  Neeper. 

Alexander  McCaskey. 

Thomas  Hamilton. 


Thomas  Smiley.  John  Ewing. 

John  Devlin.  James  Maxwell.- 

Hance  Ferguson. 
The   total   enrollment   of   this   company    is   named   as   forty-six,   but   the 
above  are  the  only  names  on  the  State  Archives  list  of  October,  1777. 

Fourth  Company. — Captain,  William  Blain ;  First  Lieutenant,  James 
Blain;    Second  Lieutenant,  William  Murray;    Ensign,  Allen  Nesbit. 

Tames  Cameron.  Hugh  Gormly. 

Michael  Marshal.  John  Marshall. 

John  McCallaster.  William  McClintock. 

John   Ardery.  James  McClure: 

John  Baker.  John   Smith. 

Joseph   Childers.  William  Brown. 

Charles  McCarty.  Robert  Galbreath. 

William  Galbreath.  Abram  Johnston. 

Robert  Boyd.  John  McBride. 

Robert  McClurg.  David  Martin. 

James   Findley.  William  Cunningham. 

John  Douglass.  John  Taylor. 

The  above  is  the  list  as  recorded  in  the  Pennsylvania  Archives  for  Oc- 
tober,  1777,  although  the  number  is  quoted  in  some  records  as  fifty-one. 

Fifth  Company.— Captain,  Frederick  Taylor;  First  Lieutenant,  Daniel 
Hart;    Second  Lieutenant,  Matthew  McCoy;    Ensign,  Thomas  Watson. 

Hans  Kilgees.  William   Spottwood. 

Edward  O'Donald.  Thomas  Shedswick. 

Pattrick  Grant.  Andrew  Linch. 

Robert   McClintog.    V  Robert  Irwin. 

James  Wymer.  Hugh  McCraghan. 

Matthew  Merrot.  James  Miller. 

Richard  Morrow.  Thomas  Purdy,  Jr. 

William  Watson.  William  Taylor. 

Hugh  Miller.  James  Maxwell. 

Clifton  Bowen.  William  Martin. 

Richard  Stewart.  Andrew  Irwin. 

Robert  Huev.  John  Faddon. 

William  Williams.  Samuel  Glass. 

Daniel  Graham.  Robert  Adams. 

Hugh  Gibson.  William   Neeper. 

Joseph  Nelson.  William  Adams. 

Andrew  Kinkead.  John  Gardener. 

Evidently  the  clerk  of  this  company  erred  in  spelling  proper  names; 
O'Donald  is  likely  O'Donnel ;  McClintog,  McClintock ;  Wymer.  Weimer ; 
Shedswick,  Sedgwick ;  Linch,  Lynch  ;  McCraghan,  McCracken  ;  Faddon, 
McFadden,   and  Gardener,   Gardner. 

Sixth  Company. — Captain,  Edward  Graham:  First  Lieutenant,  Samuel 
Adair;    Second  Lieutenant,  Samuel  Whittaker  ;    Ensign,  George  Smiley. 

William  Cree.  John  Jamison. 

William  Lewis.  Henry  Heatly. 

Francis  McQuoan.  Alexander  Brown. 

John  Coulter.  John  Kellem. 

Thomas  Boyd.  James  Nelson. 

Matthew  White.  Thomas  Shaw. 

Hugh  Law.  Samuel  Rayney. 

William  McKee.  Joseph  Gormely. 

James  Kerr.  John  Marshall. 

Thomas  Barnet.  Michael  Marshal. 

Robert  Dawson.  William  Carson. 

Samuel  Ewing.  William  Blaine. 


Hugh  McClintock. 
John  Rea,  Jr. 
John  Elliott. 
John  Smylie. 
Alexander  Gaely. 
Moses  Hays. 

Edward  West. 
Henry  Glass. 
Alexander  McCoy. 
James  Thompson. 
John  Nelson. 
John  Nelson,  Jr. 

In   January,    1778,   according  to   the   Pennsylvania   Archives,   the   enroll- 
ment was  as  above,  yet  it  is  quoted  at  some  places  as  seventy-eight. 

Seventh  Company. — Captain,  John  Buchanan;    First  Lieutenant,  William 
Nelson;    Second  Lieutenant,  James  Ewing ;    Ensign,   Benjamin  Junkin. 

Samuel  McClelland. 
Daniel  Stuard. 
Tames  Hodkins. 
John  Riddle. 
Matthew  Kerr. 
John  Miller. 
James  Hamilton. 
Samuel  Neesbit. 
John  Cowburn. 
William  Shehan. 
Joseph  Kirkpatrick. 
John  Smith. 
David  McKee. 
Henry  Kelly. 
Alexander  Kelly. 
John  Ross. 
George  Logan. 
John  Cord. 

Samuel  Fisher. 
Robert  Graham. 
John  Camble. 
Daniel  Marrit. 
Thomas  Elliott. 
Patrick  Kain. 
Alexander  Murray,  Esq. 
William  Erwin. 
Henry  Savage. 
Moses   Kirkpatrick.    __ 
Peter  Patterson. 
William  McKee. 
Archibald   Marrin. 
Robert  Cumins. 
Thomas   Willson. 
John  Kinkead. 
Adrew  Kinkead. 
Robert  Neelson. 

James  Byard. 

The  State  Archives  contained  the  above  list  only,  yet  the  roster  is  quoted 
at  some  places  as  containing  fifty-five  names. 

Eighth    ( 'ompany. — Captai 
Neeper ;    Second  Lieutenant 
James  Officer. 
George  Morrah. 
Robert  Wiley. 
Samuel  Barnhill. 
James  Carson. 
John  McKebe. 
William  Kerr. 
Henry   Skivington. 
Robert  Murray. 
John  McCurry. 
Joseph  Kilpatrick. 
William  Murphy. 
Matthew  McBride. 
Michael  Walters. 
John  Wright. 
William  McKebe. 
William  Logan. 
Thomas  Townsley. 

n,    Thomas    Clark ;     First    Lieutenant,    Joseph 
William  Hunter;    Ensign,  James  Fergus. 
George  Douglas. 
John  Cree. 
Robert  Holliday. 
John  Mitchell. 
Joseph  Patten. 
Joseph  Shields. 
Matthew  Morrison. 
Michael  Baskings. 
Alexander  Maxwell. 
George  Miller. 
Richard  Stuard. 
John  White. 
Andrew  McKee. 
James  McKebe. 
Thomas  Mclntire. 
Joseph  Sharp. 
John  McClintoch. 


JUST  what  part  the  lands  which  now  comprise  Perry  County 
played  in  the  War  of  1812,  or  more  properly,  the  Second  War 
with  Great  Britain,  is  of  interest.  Not  only  did  it  furnish 
many  men,  but  across  it  ran  the  nearest  route  to  Niagara,  whence 
sped  United  States  government  couriers  from  the  National  Capi- 
tal to  the  frontier.  Coming  from  Washington,  the  route  lay 
through  Sterrett's  Gap,  via  the  site  of  New  Bloomfield  and  over 
Middle  Ridge,  to  Rider's  Ferry,  thence  across  the  Juniata.  There 
was  then  no  valley  road  from  Bloomfield  to  Newport  as  at  present, 
for  there  was  no  Bloomfield  and  no  Newport  at  that  time.  One 
of  the  relay  places,  where  horses  were  exchanged,  was  at  Sterrett's 
Gap.  Whether  there  was  another  before  Middle  Ridge  it  is  not 
possible  to  say.  On  the  top  of  Middle  Ridge  (now  in  Juniata 
Township),  three-fourths  of  a  mile  south  of  Milford,  on  the 
Carlisle-Sunbury  road,  stood  the  White  Ball  Tavern,  then  kept  by 
Philip  Clouser.  There  horses  were  again  exchanged.  Just  at  the 
foot  of  Middle  Ridge,  on  the  same  road,  located  on  the  north  bank 
of  the  Little  Buffalo  Creek,  John  Koch  (Kough)  kept  the  Blue 
Ball  Tavern,  and  as  the  courier  would  pass  his  place  a  horn  sig- 
naled the  White  Ball  Tavern  (Clouser's)  at  the  top  of  the  ridge, 
so  that  on  the  arrival  of  the  courier  there  the  steed  would  be  in 
waiting,  and  scarcely  a  minute  consumed  in  resuming  the  journey. 
There  were  no  telegraph  or  telephone  lines  in  those  days,  and  that 
was  the  only  available  method  of  sending  dispatches.  It  is  re- 
markable how  quickly  the  journey  was  made  by  the  frequent 
change  of  horses  and  the  occasional  relief  of  messengers. 

This  war  was  occasioned  largely  by  the  British  policy  of  search- 
ing American  vessels  and  impressing  seamen,  on  the  subterfuge 
that  they  were  British  subjects.  Anticipating  the  war,  President 
Madison  had  called  the  American  Congress  a  month  earlier,  in 
181 1,  and  it  authorized  a  call  for  100,000  volunteers,  the  quota  of 
Pennsylvania  being  14,000.  Governor  Simon  Snyder  issued  a  call 
for  that  number  of  troops  on  May  12,  1812.  Three  times  the  num- 
ber responded.  The  Perry  County  companies  which  responded 
were  not  assigned  until  1814.  The  United  States  declared  war 
June  18,  1812.  Early  that  year  Governor  Simon  Snyder  called 
for  a  force  of  one  thousand  militia  to  help  repel  the  British  inva- 
sion of  the  northern  frontier.  Cumberland  County  (to  which 
Perry  then  belonged)  raised  over  half  that  number,  a  large  part  of 



whom  came  from  the  lands  which  now  constitute  Perry,  and  all  of 
whom  were  volunteers.  The  others  came  from  Franklin,  York, 
and  Adams,  being  drafted  men,  principally.  These  soldiers  con- 
stituted the  Eleventh  Regiment,  or  Division,  under  the  command 
of  General  Porter.  They  were  in  immediate  command  of  Colonel 
James  Fenton,  Lieut.  Colonel  Robert  Bull,  and  Majors  Galloway 
and  Marlin.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Bull  was  from  what  is  now  Tus- 
carora  Township,  Perry  County,  his  father  having  been  Henry 
Bull,  who  built  the  first  grist  mill  in  Raccoon  Valley,  now  known 
as  the  Donnally  Mill,  being  owned  by  L.  E.  Donnally,  a  former 
member  of  the  General  Assembly.  They  were  mustered  in  at  Car- 
lisle, marched  to  Pittsburgh,  and  from  there  to  Black  Rock  Fort — 
now  the  site  of  the  city  of  Buffalo,  New  York — which  they 
reached  about  April  I. 

This  expedition  consisted  of  two  brigades.  They  embarked 
July  2.  The  first  landed  about  a  mile  below  Fort  Erie  and  the  sec- 
ond about  a  mile  above.  A  battery  of  "long-  sixteens"  was  soon 
placed  in  position  and  under  a  flag  of  truce  the  fort  was  given  two 
hours  to  capitulate.  When  the  time  expired  137  men,  including 
the  officers,  marched  out  and  surrendered.  At  three  o'clock,  on  the 
5th,  delay  having  been  occasioned  by  getting  supplies  of  food,  the 
army  of  3,500  men  marched  against  the  enemy'^  army.  Indians 
had  annoyed  the  pickets  by  firing  upon  them  from  concealed 
points.  Volunteers  were  called  for  and  three  hundred  from  the 
Eleventh  Regiment  responded,  among  them  officers  who  exchanged 
their  swords  for  guns.  This  was  the  beginning  of  the  Battle  of 
Chippewa,  in  which  Colonel  Bull,  the  brave.  Perry  Countian,  fig- 
ured. Every  man  who  went  with  General  Porter  was  ordered  to 
leave  his  hat  behind  and  go  with  head  uncovered.  The  Indians 
tied  up  their  heads  in  muslin  and  blackened  their  faces  with 
burned  wood.  In  less  than  an  hour  General  Bull,  Major  Galloway 
and  Captain  White,  with  a  number  of  private  soldiers,  were  sur- 
rounded by  the  redskins,  who  had  concealed  themselves  in  high 
grass  and  permitted  the  main  body  to  pass,  so  that  they  might 
secure  the  officers.  They  were  made  to  disrobe  and  their  clothing 
divided.  Major  Galloway  and  Private  Wendt  were  stripped  of 
their  boots  and  compelled  to  march  through  thorn  and  stubble 
"until  their  feet  were  pierced  through  and  through,"  as  Wendt 
afterwards  said.  Silas  Wright,  in  his  History  of  Perry  County 
(1873),  further  describes  the  event: 

"The  party  had  advanced  their  prisoners  but  a.  short  distance 
until  they  were  halted,  and  there  was  evidently  an  Indian  dissat- 
isfied about  something.  They  started  again  and  had  scarcely  gone 
more  than  half  a  mile  when  the  dissatisfied  Indian,  then  in  the 
rear,  whooped  loudly,  raised  his  rifle  and  shot  Colonel  Bull  through 
the  body.    The  ball  entered  the  left  shoulder  and  come  out  through 



the  right  breast.  After  he  was  pierced  by  the  bullet,  Colonel  Bull 
raised  himself  on  his  elbow,  readied  out  his  band  to  Major  Gallo- 
way, and  said,  "Help  me,  Wendt,  I  am  shot."  The  help  implored 
by  the  dying  man  was  prevented  by  the  Indian  who  bad  shot  him, 
coming  up,  sinking  his  tomahawk  into  bis  head  and  scalping  him. 
This  act,  so  contrary  to  all  laws  of  human  warfare,  was  no  doubt 
in  compliance  with  the  order  of  General  Riall,  which  was  in  sub- 
stance, not  to  spare  any  who  wore  the  uniform  of  militia  officers, 
while  those  who  wore  the  regular  officers'  uniform  were  to  be 
brought  into  camp  in  safety.  To  this  fact  we  ascribe  the  fate  of  a 
brave  soldier  and  a  good  officer."  Colonel  Bull  was  a  religious 
man  and  during  his  service  was  often  among  the  sick,  encouraging 
and  helping  them.     His  age  at  the  time  was  thirty-five  years. 

Those  from  within  the  confines  of  what  is  now  Perry  County 
who  served  there,  are  as  follows : 

Captain  James  Piper's  Company. 


Frederick  Burd,  Greenwood. 
John  Staily,  Liverpool. 
Jacob  Potter,  Buffalo.  — 
Jacob  Liddick,  Buffalo. 
Peter  Werner,  Buffalo. 
Andrew  Hench,  Buffalo. 
Joseph  Fry  was  killed  by  the  Indians  at  Chippewa,  July  5th. 

Captain  David  Moreeand's  Company. 

Michael  Donally,  Tuscarora. 
Jacob  Hammaker,  Watts. 
Daniel  Fry,  Greenwood. 
Abraham  Fry,  Greenwood. 
Joseph  Fry,  Greenwood. 
George  Wendt,  Liverpool  T. 

David  Moreland,  Capt.,  Jackson. 

Robert  Thompson. 

John  Neiper. 

Amos  Cadwallader. 

John  Kibler,  Landisburg. 

John   Steigleman. 

Richard  Rodger. 

George  Strock. 

James  Adams. 

John  Abercrombie. 

Sebastian  Waggoner. 

James  Rodgers. 

David  Beems. 

John  Myers. 


Barkley,  William,  Saville. 
Bower,  Jacob,  Saville. 

Comp,  ,  Centre. 

Dissinger,  George,  Tyrone. 

Dissinger,  ,  Tyrone. 

Evinger,  Peter,  Jackson. 
Gutshall,  George,  Jackson. 
Gutshall,  Jacob,  Toboyne. 
.Garland,  John,  Madison. 
Goodlander,  John,  Madison. 
Hockenberry,  Jos.,  Toboyne. 
Jacobs,  John,  Saville. 
Johnston,  William,  Toboyne. 

Kiner,  Jacob,  Tyrone. 
Kessler,   Peter,  Toboyne. 
Kessler,  David,  Toboyne. 
Kessler,  Adam,  Toboyne. 
Mealy,  Dr.  Samuel,  Millerstown. 
Otto,  Peter,  Toboyne. 
Ruggles,  Moses,  Madison. 
Robinson,  George,  Saville. 
Ross,  Samuel,  Tyrone. 
Strock,  George,  Saville. 
Strock,  Joseph,  Saville. 
Stump,   William,   Toboyne. 
Schreffler,  John,  Toboyne. 
Schreffler,  George,  Toboyne. 
Stambaugh,   Philip,   Tyrone. 
Sheafer,  Jacob,  Tyrone. 
Sheafer,  Wm,  Tyrone. 
Swanger,   Peter,  Tyrone. 

Stroup, •,  Madison. 

Scott,  ,  Liverpool. 

Sponenberger,  ,  Liverpool. 

Stewart,  Richard,  Tyrone. 
Topley,  John,  Landisburg. 
Weaver,  Michael,  Toboyne. 
Wolfe,  Adam,  Tyrone. 
Wolfe,  George,  Tyrone. 
\\  ilson,  Joseph,  Tyrone. 
Welch,  Robert,  Tyrone. 


The   following  additional   names  are   found   on  a  muster  roll, 
made  out  September  22,  1814: 

Askins,  William. 

Bergstresser,  George. 

Bower,  Jacob. 

Bergstresser,  Solomon. 

Bice,  Samuel. 

Bower,  Peter. 

Buck,  George. 

Dougherty,  Robert. 

Deckard,  Philip. 

Dunbar,  Robert. 

Dansville,  Thomas. 

Ewens,  Moses. 

Fry,  Daniel. 

Fry,  Joseph   (killed  July  5th). 

Fry.  Abraham. 

Gillam,  Jacob. 

Gurnard,  Isaac. 

Gallagher,  John. 

Hollenbaugh,  Henry. 

Hoobler,  John. 

Hollenbaugh,  Mathias. 

Hays,  Robert. 

Hammaker,  Joseph. 

Hamilton,  John. 

Hockenberry,  Joseph. 

Irwin,  George. 

Jordan,  David. 

Kennedy,   Archibald. 

Kelsey,  George. 

Kenny,  Jacob. 

Ledech,  Jacob    (Liddick). 

Mores,  John. 

Buck,  Robert. 

Burd,  Frederick. 

Byers,  Joshua. 

Baughman,  John. 

Comp,  Daniel. 

Kiner,  Jacob. 

Clark,  Thomas. 

McMurray,  Ezekiel. 

McCoy,  Thomas. 

Morton,  James. 

Miller,  William. 

Neeper,  James. 

Potter,  Jacob. 

Presser,  Henry. 

Gray,  George. 

Rogers,  Robert. 

Ross,  Henry. 

Shaw,  George. 

Sleighter,  John. 

Shumbaugh,  George. 

Sheets,  Samuel. 

Stambaugh.  Jacob. 

Tate,  William. 

Taylor,  Joseph. 

Wilson,  Joseph. 

Wendt,  George   (taken  prisoner 

July  5th). 
Wilson,   Samuel. 
Wallace,  William. 
Young,  Abraham. 
Rouse,  Godfrey. 
Shreffler,  John. 

That  these  men  were  in  action  and  at  the  front  is  proven  by  the 
notations  as  to  Joseph  Fry  being  killed  and  George  Wendt  cap- 
tured.   The  company  was  also  in  the  field  at  the  date  of  the  roster. 

When  Washington  had  been  burned  by  the  British  and  the  news 
reached  Landisburg,  Dr.  John  D.  Creigh  enrolled  an  entire  com- 
pany in  the  short  space  of  two  days.  It  was  known  as  the  Landis- 
burg Infantry  and  completed  its  organization  on  September  6, 
1814.  It  was  at  once  accepted  by  Governor  Snyder  and  assigned 
to  the  second  post  of  honor  in  the  Pennsylvania  line.  Upon  Octo- 
ber 2  it  was  encamped  on  Bush  1  [ill,  near  Washington.    The  roster  : 

Captain  John  Creigii's  Company. 

John  Creigh,  Capt.,  Tyrone. 
Henry  Lightner,   Landisburg. 

Thompson,  ,  Jackson. 

Carl,  Isaiah,  Tyrone. 

Neeper,  ,   Tyrone. 

Lackey,  Henry. 
Cadwallader,  Amos,  Tyrone. 


Bollinger,  Daniel,  Millerstown. 
Curry,  John. 

Carl,  David,  Tyrone. 
Dunbar,  George. 
Dunbar,  John. 

Dunkelberger,  Benj.,  Tyrone. 
Ernest,  Jacob,  Landisburg. 
Foose,   Michael, 
Frederick,  Jacob. 
Fullerton,  Joseph. 
Gibson,   Francis,   Landisburg. 
Henderson,  Wm.,  Tyrone. 
Hippie,  John. 

PERRY  COUNTY  IN  THE  WAR  OF  1812  181 

Holman,  Conrad.  Power,  John,  Tyrone. 

Ickes,  Samuel.  Roddy,  Alex.,  Tyrone. 

Jones,  Nathan,  Landishurg.  Stambaugh,  Daniel,  Tyrone. 

Jones,  Samuel,  Landishurg.  Smith,  Philip,  Tyrone. 

Johnson,  John,  Saville.  Sheibley,  Barnett,  Tyrone. 

Jennings,  Israel,  Millerstown.  Sheibley,  Solomon. 

Keck,  Stephen.  Sheer,  . 

Lightner,  Jacob,  Landishurg.  Swarner,  George. 

Landis,  John,  Landishurg.  Simons,  George,  S.,  Tyrone. 

Landis,  Samuel,  Landishurg.  West,  George,  Tyrone. 

Lynch,  .  Wilson,  William,  Tyrone. 

Mahoney,  John,   Landishurg.  Whitmer,  Barney,  Tyrone. 

M'Cracken,  Benj.,  Tyrone.  Zeigler, . 

Marsh,  Joseph,  Tyrone. 
John  Gabel,  of  Howe  Township,  also  served  in  this  war,  but  with  what 
unit  is  unknown. 

Michael  Donnally,  of  what  is  now  Tuscarora  Township,  was  one 
of  the  men  who  volunteered  to  go  aboard  Commodore  Perry's 
fleet,  then  operating  on  Lake  Erie,  expecting  to  stay  a  few  days  at 
the  utmost,  but  just  four  weeks  elapsed  before  he  got  back  to  his 

Perry  Countians  and  residents  of  the  Juniata  Valley  have  reason 
to  be  proud  of  their  record  in  this  war.  Although  the  British  never 
set  foot  on  Pennsylvania  soil,  the  state  at  one  time  had  more  men 
in  the  field  than  any  other,  as  well  as  having  paid  a  larger  share  of 
the  expense.  On  the  pretext  that  they  were  not  obliged  to  leave 
their  own  state,  General  Van  Rensselaer,  of  New  York,  refused  to 
cross  the  line  into  Canada.  General  Tannehill,  with  a  brigade  of 
two  thousand  Pennsylvanians,  including  local  men,  welcomed  the 
chance  and  promptly  crossed  into  the  enemy's  country. 


A  HISTORY  of  Perry  County  would  be  incomplete  without 
reference  to  the  founder  of  the  province,  the  province  itself, 
and  to  Cumberland  County — Mother  Cumberland — during 
the  sixty-six  years  when  Perry  County  soil  was  an  integral  part  of 
its  domain,  before  attaining  countyhood  in  its  own  right.  William 
Penn,  the  proprietor,  has  left  his  impress  upon  the  land  and  its 
people,  never  to  be  effaced.  He  was  born  in  London,  England, 
October  16,  1644,  being  a  son  of  Sir  William  Penn,  an  admiral  in 
the  English  Navy,  and  Margaret  Jasper  Penn,  daughter  of  a  Rot- 
terdam merchant.  He  was  educated  at  Christ  Church,  Oxford, 
where,  on  hearing  Thomas  Loe,  an  eminent  Quaker,  he  thought 
well  of  his  principles,  and  a  few  years  later  publicly  professed 
them.  In  consequence  of  this  action  he  was  twice  turned  out  by 
his  father.  In  1668  he  began  preaching  and  writing  on  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  Quakers.  For  this  he  was  twice  imprisoned  and  once 
brought  to  trial. 

In  1680  Penn  petitioned  Charles  II  for  a  grant  of  land  in  Amer- 
ica, the  Crown  being  in  the  debt  of  his  father  to  the  extent  of  some 
sixteen  thousand  pounds.  On  March  4,  1681,  the  great  seal  was 
affixed  to  the  document  which  gave  to  him  a  grant  in  America — 
practically  the  Pennsylvania  of  to-day,  which  the  king  named  in 
honor  of  his  father.  It  gave  to  Penn  almost  unlimited  powers, 
the  exceptions  being  the  levying  of  taxes  and  the  vetoing  of  legis- 
lation. Here  he  founded  a  province  where  men  might  worship 
God  according  to  the  dictates  of  their  individual  conscience.  Until 
1776  Penn  and  his  heirs  were  the  feudal  lords  of  the  land,  with  an 
exception  of  two  years  under  William  III.  Penn  died  in  England 
in  1718.  The  provincial  history  is  largely  that  of  the  pioneers  and 
the  Indians,  the  part  of  which  relates  to  Perry  County  territory 
appearing  in  the  early  chapters  in  this  book  devoted  to  the  Indians. 
Prior  to  the  establishment  of  the  Constitution  of  1790  Pennsyl- 
vania had  various  methods  of  government.  The  Dutch  began  to 
rule  in  [609  and  continued  until  1638;  the  Dutch  and  Swedish 
rule  covered  the  period  from  1638  to  1655,  when  the  Dutch  author- 
ity again  became  absolute  and  lasted  until  1664.  The  chief  execu- 
tive was  then  known  as  Vice  Director.  The  conflict  between  the 
English  and  the  Dutch  led  to  the  establishment  of  English  rule 
from  1664  to  1673,  when  the  Dutch  Deputy  Governor  reestab- 
lished the  rule  of  his  race.     The  English,  in  turn,  regained  their 



lost  authority  in  1674  and  continued  it  until  1681,  when  the  pro- 
prietary government  under  Penn  was  established,  with  various 
deputy  governors  (including  members  of  the  Penn  family)  until 
1777,  when  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  was  organized. 

Execution  of  the  laws  then  devolved  upon  the  president  and  the 
supreme  executive  council,  consisting  of  twelve  persons,  one  from 


the  city  of  Philadelphia  and  one  from  each  of  the  eleven  counties 
into  which  the  province  was  then  divided.  They  were,  however, 
chosen  by  district,  the  model  of  our  senatorial  districts  in  embryo. 
Every  member  of  the  council  was  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  the 
whole  state.  The  president  and  vice-president  of  the  state  were 
elected  in  a  joint  meeting  of  the  Assembly  and  the  Council.  The 
president  had  the  judge  appointing  power,  sat  in  impeachment 
cases  and  could  grant  pardons.  The  term  of  the  supreme  court 
judges  was  made  seven  years.  Two  or  more  persons  were  elected 
in  each  township  as  justices  of  the  peace  and  the  Council  commis- 


sioned  one  or  more  of  them  for  seven  years.  They  held  the  courts. 
Two  persons  were  to  be  voted  for  for  sheriff  and  the  Council  was 
to  commission  one.  The  county  commissioners  and  assessors  of 
taxes  were  to  be  elected  by  the  people,  thus  embodying  in  the  State 
Constitution  the  principles  which  brought  on  the  revolution,  the 
right  of  the  people  to  tax  themselves. 

This  early  province  is  now  the  great  Commonwealth  of  Penn- 
sylvania, with  its  sixty-seven  subdivisions  known  as  counties.  It  is 
one  hundred  and  seventy-six  miles  in  width  from  the  New  York 
State  line  to  Maryland,  and  three  hundred  and  three  miles  in 
length  from  Ohio  to  New  Jersey.  It  contains  45.215  square  miles 
of  territory  and  is  almost  as  large  as  England  and  Wales  com- 
bined ;  it  is  one-third  larger  than  Ireland  and  larger  than  Holland, 
Denmark,  and  Belgium  combined.  It  is  the  only  one  of  the  thir- 
teen original  states  having  no  coast  line  along  the  Atlantic  Ocean. 
(  >f  the  thirteen  it  has  exerted  greater  influence  upon  the  nation 
than  any  other,  and  its  history  has  been  more  interesting.  The 
Maryland  and  Virginia  claims  to  a  part  of  the  Pennsylvania  domain 
in  the  south  and  west  and  the  claims  of  Connecticut  in  the  Wyom- 
ing Valley,  and  the  various  Indian  troubles  and  wars,  were  some 
of  the  early  difficulties  of  the  province.  The  pioneers  and  later 
settlers,  unlike  many  of  the  other  colonies  and  provinces,  were  not 
a  single  people  but  those  of  many  nationalities.  Here  were  to  be 
found  the  types  and  sects  of  more  religious  beliefs  than  anywhere 
else,  and  that  is  largely  .true  to  this  day.  Here  were  the  beginnings 
of  popular  government  by  the  people.  Here  transportation  first 
developed  and  manufacturing  started.  On  Pennsylvania  soil  were 
fought  battles  which  helped  in  making  the  Union  and  the  greatest 
battle  in  helping  preserve  the  Union.  Within  its  borders  liberty 
was  proclaimed  and  that  great  compact  between' the  states — the 
Constitution,  was  adopted.  No  other  state  in  the  Union  has  been 
so  typical  of  world  progress.  It  is  second  in  population,  while  in 
land  area  it  stands  thirty-second. 

Pennsylvania  originally  had  but  three  counties.  When  William 
I'enn  first  visited  the  province  in  1682 — his  visit  covering  almost 
two  years — he  laid  out  three  counties,  Philadelphia,  Bucks,  and 
Chester,  whose  boundaries  were  not  clearly  defined,  but  Chester 
had  charge  of  the  legality  of  everything  as  far  west  as  settlements 
were  then  made.  While  there  were  no  settlements  at  that  time  in 
what  is  now  Perry  County,  had  such  been  the  case  it  would  have 
been  necessary  to  journey  to  West  Chester  to  have  legal  action. 
These  original  counties  had  seals,  adopted  by  the  provincial  legis- 
lature. That  of  Philadelphia  was  an  anchor,  of  Bucks  a  tree,  and 
of  Chester  a  plough. 

The  settlements  of  the  colonists  were  pushing  farther  and  far- 
ther into  the  wilderness,  as  immigrants  came  in   from  across  the 


seas,  and  the  necessity  of  having  official  and  legal  advantages  closer 
at  hand  in  order  to  avoid  far  journeys  to  the  courts  caused  the 
citizens  to  petition  for  the  erection  of  a  new  county  out  of  the 
"upper  part  of  Chester."  The  petition  was  granted  and  by  an  act 
of  the  Provincial  Assembly,  May  10,  1729,  Lancaster  County  be- 
came the  fourth  county  of  the  present  great  commonwealth,  then 
in  embryo.  It  extended  westward  as  far  as  the  province.  From 
that  date  any  legal  matters  from  what  is  now  the  territory  compris- 
ing Perry  County  would  necessarily  have  been  adjusted  at  Lan- 
caster, the  county  seat  of  Lancaster  County.  But  the  territory 
was  uninhabited. 

The  continual  westward  trend,  which  has  practically  continued 
to  this  day,  with  the  attending  desire  for  local  courts,  caused  the 
residents  west  of  the  Susquehanna  to  petition  for  the  formation 
of  separate  counties,  and  in  1749  York  County,  including  the  pres- 
ent county  of  Adams — it  being  the  fifth  county  and  formerly  a 
part  of  Lancaster — was  laid  out.  Cumberland,  a  year  later — 1750 
— was  the  sixth  county  created.  Thus  the  nearest  county  seat  to 
the  territory  comprising  Perry  County,  was  that  of  Chester,  then 
that  of  Lancaster,  and  later  that  of  Cumberland.  It  became  a  part 
of  Cumberland  in  1754,  where  it  was  destined  to  remain  for  sixty- 
six  years,  or  until  1820,  when  it  "came  into  its  own." 

In  presenting  a  petition  to  the  Provincial  Assembly  representa- 
tions were  made  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  "North  Valley,"  as  the 
territory  was  then  known,  who  resided  west  of  the  Susquehanna 
River,  that  "owing  to  the  great  hardships  they  laid  under,  of  being- 
very  remote  from  Lancaster,  where  the  courts  were  held — some 
of  them  one  hundred  miles  distant — and  the  public  offices  kept," 
etc.,  a  new  county  was  to  be  desired.  The  act  of  January  27, 
1750,  creating  Cumberland  County,  gave  the  boundaries  as  follows : 

"That,  all  and  singular  lands  lying  within  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania, 
to  the  westward  of  Susquehanna,  and  northward  and  westward  of  the 
county  of  York,  be  erected  into  a  county,  to  be  called  Cumberland ; 
bounded  northward  and  westward  with  the  line  of  the  province,  eastward 
partly  with  the  river  Susquehanna,  and  partly  with  said  county  of  York  ; 
and  southward  in  part  by  the  line  dividing  said  province  from  that  of 

Literally  that  would  have  included  all  of  Perry  and  of  Pennsyl- 
vania to  its  northern  border,  but  the  lands  north  of  the  Kittatinny 
or  Blue  Mountain  had  not  then  yet  been  purchased  from  the  In- 
dians. Consequently  no  townships  were  designated  in  the  old  rec- 
ords as  lying  north  of  the  mountains,  until  after  the  Albany  pur- 
chase of  1754.  Neither  were  any  justices  appointed  in  or  for 
that  territory.  Notwithstanding  that  fact  the  author  of  the  bill 
creating  Cumberland  County  used  poor  judgment,  in  including 
within  its  borders,  lands  which  were  not  yet  purchased  from  the 


Indians,  and  there  is  little  wonder  that  squatters  went  into  the  ter- 
ritory and  located  claims.  Mention  of  a  number  of  these  squat- 
ters occur  throughout  this  book,  and  among  the  nanus  are  the 
forefathers  of  man)-  present  day  inhabitants.  Information  was 
not  disseminated  nearly  so  easily  in  provincial  days  and  it  is  un- 
fair to  charge  these  squatters  with  disobeying  the  laws,  when  they 
probably  inferred  from  the  language  creating  Cumberland  County 
that  it  meant  just  what  it  said,  which  was  not  the  case. 

This  wonderful  domain,  when  taken  literally,  included  all  of 
Pennsylvania  lying  west  of  the  Susquehanna  River,  except  York 
County.  From  it  all  the  counties  west  of  the  Susquehanna  have 
been  carved,  either  directly  or  indirectly,  Perry  being  the  last  to 
attain  separation. 

Cumberland  County  was  named  after  a  maratime  county  of 
England,  on  the  borders  of  Scotland.  When  the  Scotch-Irish  be- 
gan settling  the  Cumberland  Valley  at  first  the  Six  Nations  still 
inhabited  it.  This  was  about  1730  or  1731.  When  Cumberland 
County  was  organized  it  had  but  807  taxable  citizens. 

The  first  Cumberland  County  courts,  after  the  county's  estab- 
lishment in  1750,  were  held  at  Shippensburg,  but  were  transferred 
to  Carlisle  in  175 1,  when  the  town  was  laid  out.  In  those  days  the 
session  of  Orphans'  Court  were  sometimes  held  in  the  various  dis- 
tricts, and  there  is  at  least  one  reference  to  it  being  held  on  the 
north  side  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain  while  the  lands  yet 
belonged  to  Cumberland.  The  records  state  that  it  was  held  "at 
William  Anderson's,"  which  location  was  at  what  is  now  Ander- 

Carlisle,  the  new  county  seat,  early  became  an  educational  centre, 
which  it  is  to  this  day.  Dickinson  College  opened  in  1783,  and  in 
[833  came  under  the  influence  of  the  Methodist  Church. 

While  Perry  was  yet  a  part  of  Cumberland  "the  Father  of 
His  Country,"  President  George  Washington,  visited  Carlisle. 
Incidentally,  that  title — the  Father  of  His  Country — was  first  ap- 
plied to  him  in  Baer's  Almanac,  published  at  Lancaster,  Pennsyl- 
vania. It  was  quickly  adopted  by  the  public  press  and  will  be 
used  as  long  as  time  lasts.  It  was  but  fit  and  proper  that  that  ap- 
propriate title  should  be  first  applied  to  him  by  a  Pennsylvanian, 
for  while  he  was  born  in  Virginia  and  died  in  Virginia,  yet  he 
spent  the  greater  number  of  his  mature  years  in  Pennsylvania. 
No  less  a  historian  than  Ex-Governor  Pennypacker  is  responsible 
for  the  latter  statement. 

In  17S7,  in  a  list  of  field  officers  selected  to  command  the  militia 
of  Cumberland  County,  is  the  following:  Toboyne,  Tyrone,  and 
Pie  (Rye) — Lieutenant  Colonel.  John  Davidson;  Major,  Michael 


Tn  [795  the  Senate  of  Pennsylvania  voted  to  make  Carlisle  the 
State  Capital,  but  the  House  refused  to  concur. 

During  the  period  immediately  prior  to  the  Revolution,  during 
that  war  and  afterwards,  while  Perry  County  was  yet  a  part  of 
Cumberland,  its  residents  had  great  reason  to  admire  a  fellow 
citizen  who  was  a  noted  lawyer,  a  statesman  and  a  patriot  who 
was  one  of  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  that 
great  document  which  has  given  civilization  everywdiere  a  new 
impetus.  James  Wilson  was  born  in  1742  and  was  foremost  in 
all  matters  pertaining  to  the  province,  later  to  the  colony,  and  still 
later  to  the  state.  His  influence  upon  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States — second  only  to  that  of  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence— was  probably  greater  than  that  of  any  other  member 
of  the  convention.  Largely  to  his  addresses,  efforts  and  public  ar- 
ticles was  due  the  ratification  of  the  Constitution  by  Pennsylvania, 
in  1 791  he  established  the  first  law  school  in  America  in  connec- 
tion with  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.  In  1789  President 
Washington  appointed  him  a  justice  of  the  United  States  Supreme 

It  was  from  Cumberland  County,  remembering  that  Perry 
County  was  an  integral  part  at  that  time,  that  "Molly  Pitcher" 
went  forth  tc  the  army  and  the  battle  of  Monmouth,  from  whence 
has  come  her  fame.  Her  maiden  name  was  Ludwig,  and  she  was 
wed  to  a  man  named  Hays.  At  that  time  a  number  of  wives  of 
soldiers  were  allowed  to  accompany  the  army  on  errands  of  mercy 
— to  care  for  the  wounded.  They  were  the  forerunners  of  the 
Red  Cross  nurses  of  our  time.  Mrs.  Hays  was  one  of  these 
women  and  was  carrying  water  to  the  soldiers  when  she  saw  her 
husband  fall  at  the  battle  of  Monmouth.  She  immediately  took 
his  place  and  fought  courageously  until  the  close  of  the  battle,  and 
her  name,  "Molly  Pitcher,"  came  by  reason  of  her  carrying  water 
for  the  soldiers.  She  later  married  again,  but  it  is  as  "Molly 
Pitcher"  that  her  name  will  descend  for  all  time  as  one  of  the 
heroines  of  that  great  conflict. 

During  the  first  thirty-two  years  that  Perry  County  territory 
was  a  part  of  Cumberland  County  there  stood  in  Carlisle  a  pillory, 
a  whipping  post  and  stocks,  where  offenders  paid  the  penalty  for 
crime.  The  Act  of  1786  did  away  with  that  form  of  punishment. 
A  considerable  crime  of  that  day  was  larceny,  and  the  law  provided 
that  for  the  first  offense  of  that  nature  the  person  so  convicted 
should  be  publicly  whipped  on  his  bare  back,  with  stripes  well  laid 
on  to  the  number  of  twenty-one.  Later  offenses  carried  a  larger 
number.  Murder,  arson,  burglary,  robbery  and  witchcraft  were 
-punishable  by  death.  After  1785  the  public  whippings  ceased,  but 
records  show  that  150  persons  were  so  punished.  Of  these  seven- 
teen were  in  addition  sentenced  to  stand  in  the  pillory  for  one 


hour,  and  six  of  them  had  both  ears  cut  off  and  nailed  to  the  pil- 
Lory.  These  latter  were  convicted  of  horse  stealing  and  passing 
counterfeit  money. 

From  1779  to  17&7<  m  Cumberland  County,  eleven  men  and 
women  were  sentenced  to  be  hanged,  three  for  murder,  three  for 
robbery,  two  for  burglary,  two  for  counterfeiting,  one  for  rape, 
one  for  arson,  and  one  for  an  unmentionable  crime.  The  early 
judges  were  laymen  and  were  known  as  justices  of  the  peace.  Ac- 
cording to  a  statute  three  were  required  to  preside  at  trials.  The 
Act  of  April  3,  1791,  provided  for  a  president  judge,  learned  in 
the  law.  The  old  guardhouse,  near  one  of  the  entrance  gates  of 
the  Carlisle  Indian  School,  now  again  a  military  post,  was  built 
by  Hessian  soldiers,  captured  by  General  Washington's  army  at 
the  battle  of  Trenton,  and  sent  to  Carlisle  as  prisoners  of  war. 

A  signer  of  the  famous  document  known  as  the  Declaration  for 
the  Colony  of  Pennsylvania  was  John  Creigh,  one  of  the  nine  rep- 
resentatives. Creigh  was  the  father  of  Dr.  Creigh,  long  a  physi- 
cian at  Landisburg,  and  the  grandfather  of  Rev.  Dr.  Thomas 
Creigh,  born  in  Landisburg,  a  noted  divine.  Of  German  origin, 
transplanted  to  Ireland,  he  came  to  this  country  in  1761.  He  was 
a  lieutenant  colonel  of  the  Continental  Army  and  a  member  of  the 
Provincial  Conference  which  met  in  Carpenter's  Hall  in  June, 
1776.  In  February,  1778,  directed  by  Congress,  he  administered 
the  oath  to  six  hundred  and  forty-two  citizens  of  Carlisle  and 
vicinity.     He  died  February  17,  1813. 

At  the  last  election  for  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  while  Perry 
was  yet  attached  to  Cumberland,  in  18 17,  William  Findlay  was 
nominated  by  the  (then)  Republicans,  and  General  Joseph  Heister, 
by  the  disaffected  branch  of  the  party  known  as  "The  Old  School" 
and  the  Federalists.  Findlay  was  elected  and  was  the  governor 
who  signed  the  act  creating  the  new  county  of  Perry,  but  at  the 
following  election  for  governor,  in  1820,  General  I  leister  was 
elected  as  his  successor. 

•Even  during  the  term  of  George  Washington  as  first  President 
of  the  United  States  insurrection  broke  out — and  in  our  own  fa- 
vored Pennsylvania.  Historians  term  it  "the  Whiskey  Insurrec- 
tion" of  1794.  The  farmers,  and  especially  of  western  Pennsyl- 
vania, distilled  whiskey  in  large  quantities,  that  being  their  prin- 
cipal source  of  revenue.  When  the  United  States  passed  an  act 
laying  an  excise  on  liquor  the  measure  was  very  unpopular  in  that 
section,  and  although  a  people  of  a  generally  peaceful  disposition, 
they  resisted  the  law.  Perry  County's  territory,  as  stated,  was  still 
a  part  of  Cumberland,  and  Carlisle  was  its  county  seat.  Troops 
were  raised  at  once  to  stand  by  the  government  and  force  submis- 
sion of  the  insurrectionists.  This  was  the  occasion  of  President 
Washington's  visit  to  Carlisle,  where  he  reviewed  four  thousand 


men  under  arms,  many  of  them  from  north  of  the  Kittatinny  or 
Blue  Mountain. 

Among  these  troops  was  the  young  attorney,  David  Watts,  son 
of  General  Frederick  Watts,  born  in  Wheatfield  Township,  and 
the  first  lad  from  Perry  County  territory  to  secure  a  college  edu- 
cation, who  joined  the  troops  as  a  private.  Alive  to  the  danger 
of  any  refusal  to  support  the  government  and  resolute  in  his  oppo- 
sition to  the  "whiskey  boys,"  who  planted  a  "liberty  pole"  near 
Carlisle,  he  shouldered  an  axe  and  alone,  unaided  and  unarmed, 
rode  to  the  spot  where  it  stood  and  felled  it  to  the  ground,  al- 
though there  was  a  public  threat  to  shoot  any  one  who  offered  to 
disturb  it.  Whether  the  planting  of  this  "liberty  pole"  of  1794 
was  the  forerunner  of  the  "personal  liberty"  party  of  the  begin- 
ning of  the  Twentieth  Century  the  reader  must  be  left  to  conjec- 
ture. Another  member  of  the  Cumberland  militia  company,  the 
Carlisle  Infantry,  who  helped  quell  the  insurrection  was  Francis 
Gibson,  eldest  son  of  George  Gibson,  who  died  at  Gibson's  Mill 
in  1856. 

As  the  territory  now  comprising  Perry  County  was  yet  a  part 
of  Cumberland  during  the  agitation  attending  the  adpotion  of  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States  the  following  episode  from 
Rupp's  History  will  be  of  interest  to  the  reader : 

"In  December,  1787,  a  fracas  occurred  between  the  Constitutionalists 
and,  Anti-Constitutionalists.  A  number  of  citizens  from  the  county  as- 
sembled on  the  26th  (at  Carlisle),  to  express,  in  their  way,  aided  by  the 
firing  of  cannons,  their  feelings  on  the  actions  of  the  convention  that  had 
assembled  to  frame  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  when  they  were 
assaulted  by  an  adverse  party;  after  dealing  out  blows  they  dispersed. 
On  Thursday,  the  27th,  those  who  had  assembled  the  day  before  met  again 
at  the  courthouse,  well  armed  with  guns  and  muskets.  They,  however, 
proceeded  without  molestation,  except  that  those  who  had  opposed  them 
also  assembled,  kindled  a  bonfire  and  burned  several  effigies.  For  that 
temerity  several,  styled  as  rioters,  were  arrested  and  snugly  lodged  in  jail. 
They  were  subsequently,  on  a  compromise  between  the  Federalists  and 
Democrats,  liberated.     The  Federalists  were  the  Constitutionalists." 

While  Perry  was  a  part  of  Cumberland,  Jacob  Alter  was  elected 
to  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  twenty-one  consecutive  times  upon 
the  Whig  ticket.  His  only  sister  became  the  wife  of  Governor 
Joseph  Ritner,  of  Pennsylvania.  Cashier  James  T.  Alter  and  D. 
Boyd  Alter,  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  New  Bloomfield,  arc 
of  the  third  generation  of  this  noted  family.  William  Anderson, 
who  resided  at  Andersonburg,  also  represented  Cumberland  in  the 

Among  others  located  north  of  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Moun- 
tains who  represented  Cumberland  County  in  the  legislature 
*  before  Perry  County  was  formed  was  David  Mitchell,  who  served 
for  more  than  twenty  years.  (See  chapter  on  Revolutionary 
War.)   He  resided  first  on  the  Barnett  farm  at  New  Bloomfield, 


but  sold  it  to  Thomas  Barnett  and  removed,  first  to  Raccoon  Val- 
ley, but  soon  to  the  well-known  Mitchell  place,  in  the  Juniata,  north 
of  Newport,  in  Oliver  Township.  His  father  was  Colonel  John 
Mitchell,  commander  of  the  Cumberland  County  Militia,  whose  re- 
mains lie  in  the  Poplar  Hill  graveyard,  on  the  McKee  farm,  west 
of  New  Bloomfield.  An  interesting  document,  the  text  of  which 
is  here  reproduced,  refers  to  soldiers  from  north  of  the  mountain, 
as  well  as  south,  all  of  which  was  then  Cumberland  County.  It  is 
in  connection  with  the  military  career  of  the  elder  Mitchell,  who 
came  to  America  from  Ireland,  because  while  enraged  at  a  mem- 
ber of  parliament  who  voted  against  an  issue  to  which  he  was 
pledged,  struck  him,  which  either  meant  banishment  or  death.     It 

follows :  «T     n        -,    0     .      ,  _0 

In   Council,  September  2,  1780. 

"Sir:  His  excellency,  the  President  of  the  State,  having  received  or- 
ders from  General  Washington  to  dismiss  the  militia  for  the  present,  but 
to  hold  themselves  in  readiness  to  march  at  an  hour's  warning;  we  hereby 
direct  you  to  discharge  the  Cumberland  Militia  now  under  your  command 
at  Lancaster  on  the  conditions  above  expressed.  At  the  same  time  ex- 
pressing our  warmest  acknowledgments  of  the  readiness  with  which  your 
militia  have  turned  out  on  this  occasion  and  make  no  doubt,  but  on  every 
future  call,  they  will  manifest  the  like  zeal  in  the  cause  of  the  country. 
"Your  Most  Honorable  Servant, 

"William   Moore,   Vice-President. 

"To  Colonel  John  Mitchell,  Commanding  the  Cumberland  Militia  at  Lan- 

Robert  Mitchell,  of  the  third  generation,  being  a  son  of  David, 
was  one  of  the  first  board  of  county  commissioners  of  Perry 
County,  and  was  interviewed  by  Prof.  Silas  Wright,  the  historian, 
in  1872,  from  which  interview  we  quote: 

"I  am  now  in  my  ninetieth  year;  was  one  of  the  first  board  of  county 
commissioners  of  Perry  County ;  have  lived  on  this  place  since  I  was  three 
years  old.  I  remember  when  the  deer  were  so  plenty  that,  from  Septem- 
ber to  January,  thirty-seven  were  driven  into  the  Juniata  River  below  the 
rope  ferry." 

Cumberland  County,  its  people  and  its  traditions,  more  than  any 
other  in  the  state,  resembles  the  original  counties  of  Rucks,  Phila- 
delphia, and  Chester,  formed  by  William  Penn,  along  the  Dela- 
ware. Just  as  that  section  was  the  nucleus  of  the  millions  east  of 
the  Susquehanna,  so  was  Cumberland  the  nucleus  of  that  vast 
population  west  of  the  Susquehanna,  occupying  a  far  greater  ter- 
ritory. Just  as  that  section  takes  pride  in  its  traditions,  its  insti- 
tutions and  its  ancestry,  so  does  Cumberland.  And  why  not? 
With  its  institutions,  dating  back  almost  to  the  time  of  Penn;  its 
traditions  and  its  location,  as  the  very  outpost  of  civilization  for 
decades,  and  again  at  the  very  borderland  of  sectional  strife,  its 
importance  historically  is  self-evident. 

Inextricably  intertwined  with  the  history  and  development  of 
the  province  and  of  old  Mother  Cumberland  is  the  series  of  war- 



rants,  patents,  sales  and  land  grants  of  this  then  frontier  of  civili- 
zation. In  a  volume  the  size  of  this  it  has  been  impossible  to  give 
any  great  number  of  them,  yet,  in  the  history  of  each  township, 
some  of  the  more  important  are  recorded.  While  squatters  or  in- 
truders had  presumed  to  settle  within  the  borders  of  the  county, 
as  now  constituted,  and  had  been  dispossessed  and  in  some  cases 
their  cabins  burned,  yet  there  is  evidence  that  a  considerable  num- 
ber again  went  in  before  the  opening  of  the  land  office  on  Febru- 
ary 3,  1755.  The  purchase  of  1754,  consummated  on  July  6,  had 
likely  no  sooner  been  proposed  than  the  lure  of  the  land,  like  a 
magnet,  drew  the  hardy  pioneer  across  the  Kittatinny  Mountain 
tor  a  choice  parcel  which  his  eyes  had  previously  feasted  upon. 
The  fact  that  claims  of  that  very  first  day  mention  the  names  of 
others  as  "adjoining  them"  is  in  itself  evidence  that  entry  had  al- 
ready been  made.  As  an  example,  take  the  very  property  on  which 
the  county  seat  is  located.  According  to  an  affidavit  of  Janus 
Mitchell,  taken  before  David  Redich,  prothonotary  of  Washington 
County,  Pennsylvania,  October  19,  1801,  and  read  before  the 
Board  of  Property,  which  met  at  Lancaster : 

"In  September,  1753,  William  Stewart,  father  of  John  (party  to  the 
suit),  made  an  improvement,  which  was  the  first  made  in  that  part  of  the 
county,  on  a  tract  of  land  now  lying  in  Cumberland  County,  bounded  as 
follows:  Beginning  at  the  mouth  of  Stewart's  branch  of  Little  Juniata 
(Creek)  ;  then  northerly,  to  a  gap  in  the  Mahanoi  Mountain,  and  not  to 
cross  said  mountain,  which  line  was  agreed  between  John  Mitchell,  father 
of  the  deponent,  who  assisted  Stewart  in  building  a  house  on  said  tract 
some  time  in  the  fall  of  1753,  and  Stewart  moved  in  with  his  family  the 
next  spring,  cleared  ground  and  raised  a  crop  that  season." 

The  land  here  in  dispute  consisted  of  348  acres  and  was  known 
as  the  Bark  Tavern  tract,  being  located  in  Centre  Township,  the 
lower  boundary  being  near  the  stone  house  formerly  owned  by 
Andrew  Comp. 

This  affidavit,  however,  specifically  states  that  the  line  "was 
agreed  between  John  Mitchell  and  William  Stewart"  and  names 
the  date  as  September,  1753,  which  proves  that  Mitchell  had  then 
already  located  the  county  seat  tract.  While  he  had  located  it  and 
agreed  with  "an  adjoiner"  upon  the  line,  yet  he  had  not  then 
erected  an  improvement  upon  it  as  the  affidavit  by  James  Mitchell 
(the  son  of  John)  says  that  William  Stewart  "made  an  improve- 
ment, which  was  the  first  made  in  that  part  of  the  county."  If  the 
affidavit  is  accepted  at  all  from  a  historical  standpoint,  and  there 
appears  no  reason  why  it  should  not  be,  then  it  must  be  accepted 
in  its  entirety,  which  establishes  1753  as  being  the  exact  date  of 
the  entry  of  the  Mitchells  and  many  others  into  Perry  County  ter 
ritory,  the  advance  guard  of  the  pioneers. 

There  is  quite  a  distinction  attached  to  the  original  territory — 
Perry  and  Cumberland  Counties.     In  the  capital  at  Washington — 


in  the  Hall  of  Fame — provision  has  been  made  for  the  various 
states  to  place  statues  of  their  two  most  illustrious  sons.  The  State 
of  Georgia  has  chosen  Alexander  H.  Stephens — congressman, 
statesman,  governor — and  Dr.  Crawford  Long — discoverer  of 
anaesthesia — as  Georgia's  most  representative  citizens.  Both  are 
the  sons  of  natives  of  this  original  county.  As  stated  at  a  num- 
ber of  places  in  this  book  and  in  a  separate  chapter  devoted  to 
Mr.  Stephens,  his  father,  Andrew  Stephens,  was  born  at  Dun- 
cannon.  Mr.  Long's  ancestry  were  from  Cumberland  County. 
Three  brothers  named  Long — Samuel,  Andrew,  and  another — 
with  their  father,  emigrated  from  Ulster,  Ireland,  to  Cumberland 
County  before  the  Revolution.  They  came  of  staunch  stock — 
Sc< itch-Irish  Presbyterians — and  their  name  in  Britain  is  associated 
with  shipping  and  banking  through  generations.  Of  these  broth- 
ers, Samuel  went  to  Georgia,  another  went  West,  and  the  third  re- 
mained in  Carlisle.  Samuel  was  born  in  1753  and  fought  in  the 
Revolution  as  an  ensign,  from  which  one  would  infer  that  he  was 
barely  grown  to  manhood  when  he  came  to  America.  He  married 
Ann  Williamson  about  1776.  About  1790  a  colony  of  Scotch- 
Irish  Presbyterians  left  the  Cumberland  Valley  and  went  to  Geor- 
gia, settling  in  Madison  County.  Of  that  colony  Samuel  Long 
was  one  of  the  leaders.  With  him  went  his  small  son,  James,  who 
became  the  father  of  Dr.  Crawford  Long.  A  few  years  earlier 
another  colony  had  preceded  these  people  to  Georgia,  where  they 
suffered  many  hardships,  yet,  in  spite  of  settling  in  a  wilderness, 
they  built  at  Paoli,  the  second  Presbyterian  church  to  be  erected 
in  the  state  of  Georgia — the  New  Hope  Church,  of  which  Samuel 
and  later  James  Long  were  elders.  With  the  Longs  there  went  to 
Georgia  the  Groves,  McCurdys  and  Cartlidges,  all  reliable  fami- 
lies who  in  after  years  left  their  impress  on  the  state.  Ansestbesia, 
as  the  reader  is  aware,  causes  insensibility  to  pain  and  other  ex- 
ternal impressions.  Before  the  discovery  of  surgical  anaesthesia 
surgery  was  very  painful  and  many  patients  died  from  shock  due 
to  pain.  There  has  long  been  a  contention  as  to  who  was  the  dis- 
coverer of  anaethesia,  but  Dr.  Long's  experiments  and  regular  use 
of  it  date  to  March  30,  1842,  predating  the  actual  use  by  the  others 
of  from  two  to  four  years.  Four  Americans — Jackson,  Wells, 
Morton,  and  Long — claimed  the  discovery.  The  Medical  Asso- 
ciation of  Georgia,  in  1910,  unveiled  a  marble  monument  to  the 
honor  of  Dr.  Crawford  Long  at  Jefferson,  Georgia,  and  in  the 
infirmary  connected  with  the  University  at  Athens,  Georgia,  is  a 
Long  Memorial.  In  1912  the  University  of  Pennsylvania  unveiled 
in  its  medical  building  a  bronze  medallion  with  the  inscription. 
"To  the  memory  of  Crawford  W.  Long, 
who  first  used  ether  as  an  ansethetic  in  surgery, 
March  30,  1842." 


A  life-sized  marble  statue  of  Dr.  Long  stands  in  Paris  and  the 
state  of  Georgia  has  well  chosen  him  one  of  its  two  immortals  for 
the  Hall  of  Fame  in  the  National  Capitol. 

James  Long,  the  lad  who  left  Cumberland  County,  married 
Elizabeth  Ware  and  became  a  state  senator  of  Georgia.  Llis  noted 
son,  Dr.  Crawford  Long,  was  born  at  Danielsville,  Georgia,  No- 
vember 1,  181 5.  At  the  University  of  Georgia,  where  he  gradu- 
ated at  nineteen,  his  roommate  and  best  friend  was  Alexander  I  I. 
Stephens,  later  vice-president  of  the  Confederacy.  At  the  age  oi 
twenty-three  he  was  graduated  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania 
in  the  medical  course.  He  specialized  in  surgery  in  the  New  York 
hospitals  for  two  years.  In  1841,  then  twenty-six,  he  located  at 
Jefferson,  Georgia,  and  in  185 1  he  located  at  Athens,  Georgia, 
where  he  practiced  until  his  death  on  June  6,  1878.  When  Georgia  . 
decided  to  go  out  of  the  Union  Dr.  Long  said,  "This  is  the  saddest 
day  of  my  life,"    He  was  a  Whig  in  politics. 

Old  Election  Districts. 

The  Continental  Congress  in  session  in  Philadelphia  passed  a  resolution 
on  May  15,  1776,  in  reference  to  the  election  of  representatives  from  each 
county.  Prior  to  that  time  the  proprietary  government  ruled  and  prac- 
tically everything  was  done  by  appointment  instead  of  by  election.  A  new 
regime  had  now  begun  and  at  the  provincial  conference  held  in  Carpen- 
ter's Hall,  Philadelphia,  June  18  to  25,  the  counties  were  divided  into  dis- 
tricts. Cumberland  County  was  divided  into  three  districts,  the  third  being 
composed  of  the  townships  of  Tyrone,  Toboyne,  Rye,  Milford,  Greenwood, 
Armagh,  Lack,  Derry,  and  Fermanagh.  This  district  comprised  all  of  what 
is  now  Perry,  Juniata  and  Mifflin  Counties.  The  voting  place  was  to  be 
"at  the  house  of  Robert  Campbell,  in  Tuscarora  Valley,"  being  in  what  is 
now  Juniata  County. 

The  Act  of  June,  1777,  changed  the  county  from  three  to  four  districts, 
the  third  being  composed  of  Tyrone,  Toboyne,  and  Rye,  the  voting  place 
to  be  at  William  McClure's— the  farm  now  occupied  by  the  county  home 
at  Loysville.  All  the  territory  east  of  the  river  which  then  comprised 
Greenwood  Township  was  in  the  fourth  district,  the  voting  place  being  at 
James  Purley's,  in  Fermanagh  Township,  now  in  Juniata  County. 

lUBy  the  Act  of  September  13,  1785,  entitled  'An  act  to  regulate  the 
general  elections  of  this  commonwealth  and  to  prevent  frauds  therein,' 
the  state  redistricted,  and  voting  places  fixed  in  each  district.  Cumberland 
County  was  thrown  into  four  districts.  The  first  was  within  her  present 
limits.  The  second  was  composed  of  the  townships  of  Rye,  Tyrone,  and 
Toboyne,  with  the  voting  place  'at  the  house  of  William  McClure,  Esq., 
in  the  township  of  Tyrone.'  The  third  district  embraced  Greenwood,  with 
the  townships  of  Fermanagh,  Milford,  and  Leek  (Lack)  (now  Juniata 
County),  with  the  voting  place  fixed  at  the  house  of  Thomas  Wilson  (Port 
Royal),  in   the  township  of  Milford.' 

"The  citizens  of  Rye  and  Greenwood  were  much  inconvenienced  by  the 
long  distance  to  the  voting  places,  especially  Greenwood,  and  petition  was 

1.  For  much  of  the  information  as  to  old  election  districts  we  are  in- 
debted to  William  H.  Sponsler's  historical  article  on  the  subject,  prepared 
and  read  before  the   Philomathean   Literary   Society   at   New   Bloomfield 
Academy,  many  years  ago, 


made  to  the  legislature  asking  relief,  which  was  granted  by  Act  of  Sep- 
tember 10,  1787,  of  which  Section  IV  is  in  these  words:  'And  whereas, 
a  number  of  the  freemen  of  the  townships  of  Greenwood  and  Rye,  in  the 
county  of  Cumberland,  have,  by  their  petition  set  forth  that  their  distant 
situation  from  the  place  of  holding  their  general  elections  is  found  incon- 
venient, and  have,  therefore,  prayed  this  General  Assembly  to  enact  a  law 
by  which  the  said  townships  shall  be  made  a  separate  district  for  the 
holding  of  their  general  elections.     Therefore,'  etc. 

"The  fifth  section  accordingly  erects  Rye  and  Greenwood  into  the  sixth 
district  of  Cumberland,  with  its  voting  place  'at  the  mill  late  the  property 
of  David  English,  and  known  by  the  name  of  English's  Mill'  (at  the  mouth 
of  Buffalo  Creek,  near  Newport). 

"By  the  Act  of  the  19th  of  September,  1789,  this  sixth  district  was  be- 
reft of  a  portion  of  the  territory,  that  part  of  Greenwood  lying  north  of 
Turkey  Hills,  which,  by  an  act  passed  29th  of  same  month,  was  made  into 
a  separate  election  district  of  Mifflin  County. 

"After  Rye  was  taken  from  Tyrone  and  Toboyne,  it  was  found  that  Mc- 
Clure's,  which  had,  no  doubt,  been  selected  with  a  view  to  accommodate 
the  Rye  Township  people,  as  well  as  the  other  two  townships,  was  incon- 
venient and  the  inhabitants  asked  that  a  more  convenient  place  be  estab- 
lished. The  Act  of  September  30,  1791,  was  enacted  to  remedy  this  among 
others,  and  the  place  of  election  was  fixed  'at  the  house  now  occupied  by 
George  Robinson,  in  Tyrone  Township  (now  Edward  R.  Loy's,  Madison 

"In  1787  the  township  of  Rye  and  that  part  of  Greenwood  lying  south 
of  the  Half  Falls  Mountain  were  erected  into  a  separate  election  district, 
with  its  voting  place  'at  the  Union  schoolhouse,  in  the  town  of  Petersburg, 
in  Rye  Township.' 

"The  next  change  was  made  by  the  Act  of  March  8,  1802,  Juniata  Green- 
wood and  that  part  of  Buffalo  Township  lying  north  of  the  Half  Falls 
Mountain  had  their  place  of  holding  elections  fixed  'at  the  house  now  or 
lately  occupied  by  William  Woods,  at  Millerstown,  in  the  township  of 

"By  the  Act  of  March  21,  1803,  the  townships  of  Tyrone  and  Toboyne 
heretofore  together,  are  separated,  each  to  constitute  an  election  district 
of  itself.  Tyrone  was  to  vote  'at  the  schoolhouse  in  the  town  of  Landis- 
burg,'  and  Toboyne  'at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Henry  Zimmerman,  in 
said  township.' 

"By  the  Act  of  February  11,  1805,  Buffalo  Township  was  made  a  sepa- 
rate election  district,  with  a  voting  place  'at  the  house  now  occupied  by 
William  Thompson,  in  Buffalo  Township.' 

"By  the  Act  of  March  19.  1816,  it  was  provided  that  'the  electors  re- 
siding within  the  eastern  part  of  Greenwood  Township  be  divided  as  fol- 
lows: beginning  in  the  narrows  of  Berris  (Berry's)  Mountain;  thence 
westerly  above  the  summit  of  the  said  mountain,  six  miles;  thence  north- 
erly by  a  line  parallel  with  the  river  Susquehanna  to  the  line  of  Cumber- 
land Count}- ;  thence  easterly  along  the  said  line  to  said  river ;  thence 
down  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning,  shall  hold  their  general  elec- 
tions at  the  house  of  Henry  Raymon,'  now  in  Liverpool  Township. 

"By  the  thirty-second  section  of  the  Act  of  March  24,  t8i8,  the  voting 
place  of  Buffalo  Township  was  changed  to  the  house  of  Frederick  Deal, 
in  said  township,  and  by  the  twelfth  section  of  the  Act  of  March  29,  1819, 
the  township  of  Saville  was  erected  into  a  separate  election  district,  with 
voting  place  'at  a  schoolhouse  near  Ickesburg,  in  said  township.' 


"hi  [820,  when  the  county  was  separated  from  Cumberland  as  a  new 
county  the  election  districts  and  voting  places  were  as  follows:  Toboyne, 
house  of  Henry  Zimmerman;  Tyrone,  schoolhouse,  Landisburg;  Saville, 
schoolhouse.  North  Ickesburg;  Buffalo,  house  of  Frederick  Deal;  East 
Greenwood,  house  of  Henry  Raymon;  Rye,  Union  schoolhouse,  Peters- 
burg;   Juniata  and  West  Greenwood,  W.  Woods'  house,  Millerstown. 

"A  change  was  made  in  i860,  and  the  following  were  made  the  voting 
places:  At  the  schoolhouse  in  Germantown  district;  at  Zimmerman's 
tavern  for  the  lower  district  of  Toboyne;  at  the  schoolhouse  in  Landis- 
burg for  Tyrone  Township;  at  the  schoolhouse  near  Ickesburg  for  Saville; 
at  John  Koch's  (Kough's)  tavern  for  the  northern  district  of  Juniata 
Township;  at  the  Union  schoolhouse  near  the  Methodist  Church  in 
Wheatfield  Township;  at  Colonel  Bovard's  tavern  for  Rye  Township; 
at  the  house  of  Straw,  for  Buffalo  Township;  at  the  house  of  John  Gard- 
ner, Millerstown,  for  Greenwood  Township;  at  the  house  of  John  Eber- 
ling.  in  Liverpool  Township. 

"At  this  time  a  new  district  was  made  composed  of  parts  of  Juniata, 
Wheatfield,  Tyrone,  and  Saville  Townships,  bounded  as  follows  :  Begin- 
ning at  the  mouth  of  Little  Buffalo  Creek  in  Juniata  Township;  thence 
up  said  creek  to  the  house  of  John  Smith,  in  Saville  Township,  including 
said  house;  thence  by  a  straight  line  to  the  house  of  Abraham  Kistler, 
in  Tyrone  Township,  including  said  house ;  thence  by  a  straight  line  to 
Jacob  Shatto's  sawmill  in  said  township;  thence  down  the  summit  of 
Iron  Ridge,  to  the  house  of  John  Greer,  in  Wheatfield  Township,  includ- 
ing said  house;  thence  along  the  summit  of  Dick's  Hill  to  Johnston's  saw- 
mill in  said  township ;  thence  by  a  straight  line  to  Dick's  Gap,  in  Juniata 
Township;  thence  along  the  summit  of  Mahanoy  Hill  to  the  house  of 
Alexander  Watson,  on  the  bank  of  Juniata  River,  including  said  house; 
thence  up  said  river  to  place  of  beginning. 

"A  few  years  later,  as  townships  were  erected,  separate  election  dis- 
tricts were  made  embracing  the  townships,  and,  with  the  exception  of 
Madison  Township,  each  township  is  an  election  district  to-day.  The 
north  end  of  Madison  was  cut  off  into  a  separate  district  called  Sandy 
Hill  or  Northeast  Madison,  which  practically  is  a  separate  township,  with 
the  single  exception  of  in  the  election  of  justices  of  the  peace,  both  dis- 
tricts voting  for  the  same  candidates  for  this  one  office." 

Newport  borough  is  the  only  town  in  the  county  which  has  two  separate 
election  districts,  the   first  and   second   wards. 

Several  special  acts  relating  to  polling  places  in  Perry  County  were 
passed  by  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature.  That  of  March  4,  1842,  added 
Henry's  Valley  to  Tyrone  Township  for  voting  purposes,  and  that  of 
March  12,  1849,  added  part  of  Juniata  Township  to  Saville  Township, 
and  made  Ickesburg  the  polling  place.  An  Act  of  March  6,  1849,  annexed 
to  Greenwood  Township  for  election  purposes  "all  that  part  of  Juniata 
Township,  commencing  on  the  Juniata  River,  on  division  line  of  Perry  and 
Juniata  Counties,  thence  along  said  line  on  Tuscarora  Mountain  until  it 
comes  opposite  the  upper  line  of  Samuel  Black's  farm,  thence  along  said 
upper  line  to  top  of  Raccoon  Ridge  one  mile,  thence  south  to  Patton's 
schoolhouse,  thence  along  the  Oliver  Township  line  to  the  Juniata  River." 

In  a  general  election  district  bill  vetoed  by  Governor  Bigler  and  passed 
over  his  head  by  the  House  on  January  if),  1844.  and  by  the  Senate,  Janu- 
ary 22,  1844,  parts  of  Tyrone,  Saville,  and  Madison  Townships  were  made 
an  election  district,  with  the  voting  place  at  Andesville  (now  Loysville), 
It  was  repealed  by  an  Act  of  March  9,   1844,  less  than  sixty  days  later. 


Lewis,  The  Robber. 

The  history  of  Lewis,  the  robber,  is  of  no  consequence  in  this 
hook,  except  in  so  far  as  his  depredations  and  abode  concerns  the 
territory,  as  lie  was  a  native  of  Carlisle,  but  even  left  there  when 
he  was  but  three  years  old.  The  year  of  the  organization  of  Perry 
County  was,  strangely  enough,  coincident  with  the  passing  of 
Lewis,  who  died  July  13,  1820,  in  the  Bellefonte  jail,  when  only 
thirty  years  of  age,  a  victim  of  his  own  bad  life.  The  very  first 
issues  of  the  Perry  Forester  tell  of  his  capture  and  later  of  his 
death.  There  are  those  who  uphold  him  as  a  gentleman  robber, 
who  stole  from  the  rich  to  give  to  the  poor,  but  his  own  confession, 
dated  the  day  before  his  death,  belies  that  assertion,  as  he  pleads 
guilty  to  almost  the  whole  category  of  crime,  save  murder.  How- 
ever, in  some  instances  he  did  steal  from  the  rich  to  give  to  the 
poor,  if  tradition  be  true;  and  tradition  is  persistent,  in  news- 
paper and  locality.  This  story  appears  with  slight  variations  at 
various  places. 

On  one  occasion  Lewis  dropped  in  to  rob  a  home  and  the  lady 
occupant  told  him  she  was  a  widow,  had  no  money  and  that  the 
constable  was  coming  to  take  her  cow  for  her  overdue  taxes, 
accompanying  the  statement  with  tears.  Lewis  asked  her  the 
amount  of  the  taxes  and  gave  her  an  amount  of  money  sufficient 
to  pay  them,  telling  her  to  say  nothing  of  the  fact  that  he  had  been 
there  or  where  she  had  gotten  the  money.  As  he  was  hungry  she 
gave  him  a  meal.  Shortly  after  he  left,  the  expected  officer  of  the 
law  came,  the  taxes  were  paid  and  he  departed,  but  on  his  way 
home  Lewis  held  him  up  and  not  only  got  the  tax  money,  but  all 
that  he  had.  Lewis  is  said  to  have  remarked  that  that  was  the  best 
investment  he  ever  made. 

He  roamed  the  country  from  the  Susquehanna  west  as  far  as 
Fayette  County,  and  was  a  notorious  counterfeiter,  according  to 
his  own  confession.  ITe  was  always  in  search  of  victims  to  rob. 
One  of  his  favorite  resorts  was  in  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Moun- 
tains, north  from  Doubling  Gap  Springs,  where  there  was  a  cave, 
which  was  the  size  of  an  ordinary  living  room,  being  formed  by  a 
projecting  rock.  The  spot  is  known  to  hunters  to  this  day,  its 
location  having  been  handed  down  from  one  generation  to  another. 
Time  has  wrought  much  in  its  destruction  by  the  disintegration 
of  the  rock  by  the  elements,  partly  filling  the  cave.  From  a  point 
not  far  from  the  cave  he  had  a  fine  view  of  the  valleys  below  and 
the  trails  up  the  mountain.  From  that  point  he  watched  for  offi- 
cers of  the  law,  and  confederates  in  the  valleys  below  used  to  dis- 
play danger  signals  to  him  when  strangers  were  in  the  vicinity. 
One  of  these  confederates  was  reputed  to  be  a  man  named  Moffitt, 
and  on  entering  the  cave  at  one  time  officers  found  anions:  other 


things  an  almanac  bearing  his  name.  Near  the  big  spring  at  Mt. 
Patrick  is  one  of  the  places  where  tradition  would  have  a  rendez- 
vous of  Lewis.  This  may  have  been  possible,  as  there  is  a  well 
founded  tradition  that  a  stranger  once  called  on  Peter  Musselman, 
at  Liverpool,  to  have  a  tooth  drawn,  and  that  he  "later  found  it  to 
have  been  Lewis,  upon  whose  head  was  a  price."  Mr.  Musselman, 
by  the  way,  was  in  France  as  a  student  during  the  trying  period 
of  the  French  Revolution. 

But  Lewis  didn't  learn  his  deviltry  in  this  vicinity,  as  the  follow- 
lowing  brief  account  of  his  life  will  show : 

David  Lewis  was  born  in  Carlisle,  Cumberland  County,  Penn- 
sylvania, March  4,  1790,  and  was  one  of  a  numerous  family  of 
children;  and  according  to  his  deathbed  confession  he  grew  up 
"without  regard  for  men  and  little  fear  of  God."  Three  years 
later  his  father  was  made  a  deputy  district  surveyor  and  removed 
to  Northumberland  County,  where  he  died  several  years  later, 
while  David  was  yet  a  small  boy.  He  remained  with  his  mother, 
doing  occasional  farm  labor  for  farmers  until  1807,  when  he  left 
home.  After  trying  several  avocations  he  enlisted  in  the  army  at 
Bellefonte.  A  petty  offense  caused  the  sergeant  to  endeavor  to 
arrest  him,  but  he  ran  away.  Some  time  later,  using  the  assumed 
name  of  Armstrong  Lewis,  he  enlisted  in  Capt.  Wm.  N.  Irvin's 
company  of  artillery  in  the  United  States  service,  at  Carlisle.  He 
did  this  in  order  to  get  the  bounty  money  and  then  decamp,  but 
failed.  He  then  decided  that  he  would  study  law  and  tried  to  get 
out  of  the  army  for  that  purpose  by  having  a  writ  issued.  After 
a  tedious  hearing  before  John  D.  Creigh,  then  associate  judge  of 
Cumberland  County,  he  was  remanded  into  the  army.  This  hear- 
ing caused  an  inquiry  to  be  made  into  his  past  life  and  it  was  dis- 
covered that  he  had  once  before  enlisted  in  the  army  under  his 
right  name  and  deserted. 

The  rumbling  of  the  second  war  with  Great  Britain  was  already 
heard,  and  according  to  the  strict  military  discipline  of  the  time 
Lewis  was  sentenced  to  be  executed.  His  mother,  then  living  in 
Centre  County,  rode  overland  on  a  horse  loaned  by  Judge  Walker, 
to  aid  him.  Eventually  he  was  reprieved  in  so  far  as  the  death  sen- 
tence was  concerned,  but  was  sentenced  to  life  imprisonment.  He 
was  first  imprisoned,  attached  to  a  ball  and  chain,  but  gradually 
ingratiated  himself  into  the  good  graces  of  the  guards  and  effected 
his  escape.  Once  free  Lewis  escaped  to  a  small  cave  north  of 
Carlisle,  where  he  remained  until  long  after  nightfall  when  hunger 
drove  him  forth.  Arousing  a  woman  who  lived  by  the  wayside 
he  was  served  a  cooked  meal  and  given  a  bed,  but  before  morning 
he  decamped  and  departed  for  Centre  County,  where  his  mother 
lived,  crossing  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain,  and  traveling 
across  what  later  became  Perry  County. 


Later,  meeting  an  itinerant  tin  peddler  of  a  nomadic  elan  which 
frequented  the  countryside  in  those  days,  he  learned  of  a  concern 
at  Burlington,  Vermont,  which  issued  counterfeit  hills,  and  forth- 
with made  a  trip  there  and  in  due  time  headed  for  Pennsylvania, 
a  counterfeiter  with  his  wares  ready  for  the  market.  While  pass- 
ing through  New  York  State  he  bought  a  horse  of  a  General  Root, 
then  a  candidate  for  office  and  paid  for  it  with  counterfeit  bills. 
He  was  soon  detected  and  jailed  in  Troy,  where,  through  a  girl 
friend  of  the  sheriff's  daughter,  he  effected  his  escape  on  a  Sun- 
day night  while  the  sheriff  was  at  church.  In  company  with  the 
girl,  whom  he  promised  to  marry,  he  arrived  in  Albany  the  next 
evening  and  kept  his  word  and  had  the  marriage  ceremony  imme- 
diately performed. 

The  next  day  Lewis  imparted  to  his  unsuspecting  girl- wife  the 
less  criminal  of  his  actions.  Up  to  this  time  he  had  kept  her  in 
ignorance  of  any  previous  improprieties  and  insisted  that  his 
prosecution  in  the  horse  purchase  was  really  persecution  on  account 
of  politics.  During  the  several  days  following,  Lewis  and  his  wife 
traveled  to  New  York,  the  latter  having  secured  passage  on  the 
wagon  of  a  Yankee,  bound  to  New  York  with  his  wares.  In  New 
York  Lewis  soon  associated  with  his  kind  and  became  an  ordinary 
sneak  thief  and  burglar,  according  to  his  own  confession.  There 
he  belonged  to  a  gang  which  signed  a  parchment  with  their  own 

After  a  time  in  New  York,  where  he  had  personally  robbed  Mrs. 
John  Jacob  Astor  of  much  finery  which  she  had  purchased,  he  was 
accused  by  his  accomplices  of  not  turning  in  all  of  the  same  to  the 
general  "fund."  He  became  disgusted  and  with  his  wife  traveled 
to  New  Brunswick,  New  Jersey,  and  set  up  housekeeping.  Leav- 
ing his  wife  there  he  journeyed  to  Princeton,  posed  as  a  Southern 
planter  and  by  gambling  fleeced  the  students  out  of  hundreds  of 
dollars.  As  soon  as  the  holiday  recess  was  over  at  Princeton  Lewis 
moved  on  to  Philadelphia,  where  he  resumed  sneak  thieving.  He 
had  conceived  a  plan  there  to  lure  to  the  country  Stephen  Girard, 
the  wealthy  banker,  and  hold  him  for  a  ransom,  but  his  small 
daughter's  illness  recalled  him  to  New  Brunswick. 

After  spending  some  time  at  home  he  started  for  the  Canadian 
lines,  hut  became  penniless  .and  hired  to  a  farmer.  Hardly  had  he 
done  so  until  the  farmer's  team  was  impressed  into  the  service  of 
the  United  States  Army.  Lewis  drove  it  away,  and  when  it  was 
no  longer  needed  he  "drove  it  away"  again,  but  towards  his  old 
haunts  in  Pennsylvania,  selling  it  as  soon  as  he  could.  He  was 
then  traveling  under  the  fictitious  name  of  Peter  Vanbeuren.  He 
landed  at  Stoyestown,  Pennsylvania,  where  he  learned  from  an- 
other crook  that  his  wife  was  dead  and  buried. 



In  the  mountains  near  there  he  joined  a  band  of  counterfeiters 
and,  when  they  made  some  accusation  against  him,  he  waited  until 
they  slept  and  robbed  them.  This  wealth  he  claims  to  have  put  in 
a  bottle  and  buried,  forgetting  the  place,  but  as  his  whole  life  was 
crooked  his  statements,  too,  must  not  be  taken  too  seriously.  In 
his  confession  he  tells  of  stealing  a  horse  in  Maryland,  coming  to 
Cumberland  County  and  getting  arrested  for  passing  counterfeit 
money,  escaping  to  see  his  family,  returning  to  Cumberland  Count  v 
with  other  counterfeiters  and  embarking  in  the  business  there. 

This  establishment  was  in  the  South  Mountain.  Lewis  then  tells 
of  proceeding  to  Landisburg,  where  he  passed  a  $100  counterfeit 
note  to  a  Mr.  Anderson,  a  merchant,  whose  place  was  in  the  build- 
ing owned  by  the  heirs  of  George  Patterson.  Passing  through 
Roxbury,  Strasburg,  and  Fannettsburg,  he  gathered  in  $1,500  in 
real  money,  which  he  deposited  in  the  Bedford  bank.  He  was 
arrested  and  found  guilty  of  counterfeiting,  his  sentence  being 
ten  years  in  the  penitentiary,  but  Governor  Findlay  pardoned  him 
after  serving  a  year.  He  returned  to  Bedford  to  get  his  money, 
but  it  was  refused.  Here  he  fell  in  with  a  man  named  Rumbaugh, 
but  traveling  under  the  name  of  Conelly,  and  another  who  called 
himself  Hanson.  The  three  overtook  a  drover,  who  was  return- 
ing westward  on  horseback,  and  robbed  him,  tying  both  man  and 
horse  to  a  tree,  with  a  threat  of  death  if  he  tried  to  get  away. 
Lewis  here  prevented  the  other  two  from  killing  the  drover,  say- 
ing they  would  have  to  kill  him  first.  The  drover  got  away  and 
aroused  the  community.  The  robbers  made  for  the  Juniata  River 
country  but  were  captured  and  returned  to  Bedford.  They  escaped 
from  there  and  after  some  more  robberies,  recaptures  and  escapes, 
they  turned  to  the  Juniata  River  country  again,  with  which  they 
were  familiar,  and  made  an  effort  to  reach  New  York  State.  Ac- 
cording to  the  "Life  and  Adventures  of  David  Lewis,"  being  ex- 
hausted they  stopped  at  a  tavern  below  Lewistown.  Sheriff  Samuel 
Edmiston  learned  of  it  and  with  a  posse  of  about  thirty  men  went 
In  the  hotel.  One  man  was  sent  in  to  carelessly  discover  whether 
or  not  they  were  there.  He  returned  and  reported  them  in  bed. 
The  posse  closed  in  and  a  half-dozen  brave  men  quietly  ascended 
the  stairs  and  found  them  sleeping.  On  awakening  Lewis  he  im- 
mediately reached  for  a  weapon,  but  the  sheriff  overpowered  him. 
When  taken  to  the  Bedford  jail,  he  said  it  wouldn't  hold  him  long, 
and  it  didn't.  The  sheriff,  as  an  extra  precaution,  had  handcuffed 
him,  but  he  slipped  the  cuffs  and  escaped.  They  later  got  to  Clear- 
field County,  and  one  day  recklessly  began  shooting  at  a  mark, 
which  aroused  the  neighborhood  and  they  were  surrounded,  but 
.defied  the  posse.  The  result  was  that  Lewis  was  shot  through  the 
arm,  which  shortly  thereafter,  July  13,  1820,  caused  his  death,  and 
that  Conelly  was  shot  in  the  groin  and  died  in  a  few  hours. 


When  Lewis  escaped  from  the  Bedford  jail  he  was  in  irons, 
according  to  the  public  press  of  the  period.  He  succeeded  in  get- 
ling'  to  a  near  by  woods,  where,  by  use  of  a  hie,  he  cut  the  irons 
fi'i mi  his  person.  The  advertisements  describing  him  make  him 
"six  feet  tall,  square  shoulders,  reddish  hair,  speaks  quick  and  has 
a  fierce  look." 

While  Lewis  is  supposed  to  have  had  no  education,  his  confes- 
sion belies  that  supposition,  both  from  the  standpoint  of  language 
and  logic.  He  flays  the  Carlisle  lawyers  and  the  public  officials, 
naturally,  for  had  it  not  been  for  them  he  might  have  had  easier 
sailing.  Endeavoring  to  find  a  cause  for  what  he  terms  his  "mis- 
fortunes and  crimes,"  he  says: 

"When  I  look  back  upon  my  ill-spent  life,  and  endeavor  to  dis- 
cover the  cause  or  source  from  which  all  my  misfortunes  and 
crimes  have  sprung  and  proceeded,  I  am  inclined  to  trace  their 
origin  to  the  want  of  early  instruction.  Had  my  widowed  mother 
been  possessed  of  the  means  of  sending  me  to  school,  and  afforded 
me  the  opportunity  of  profiting  by  an  education  during  the  early 
part  of  my  youth,  instead  of  being  engaged  in  idle  sports  and 
vicious  pursuits,  I  might  have  been  employed  in  the  studies  of  use- 
t  nl  knowledge,  and  my  mind  by  this  means  have  received  an  early 
tendency  to  virtue  and  honesty  from  which  it  would  have  not 
afterwards  been  diverted.  But,  alas!  She  was  poor,  and  the  Legis- 
lature of  Pennsylvania — I  blush  with  indignation  when  I  say  it — 
had  made  no  provision,  nor  has  she  yet  made  any  adequate  one, 
tor  the  gratuitious  education  of  the  children  of  the  poor.  Until 
this  is  done  and  schools  are  established  at  the  public  expense  for 
teaching  those  who  are  without  the  means  of  paying  for  instruc- 
tion, ignorance  will  cover  the  land  with  darkness,  and  vice  and 
crime  run  down  our  streets  as  a  mighty  torrent."  - 

The  writer  feels  like  apologizing  for  publishing  this  account, 
but  it  it  will  show  at  least  one  boy  the  value  of  his  free  schooling, 
where  his  mind  is  kept  on  useful  things,  instead  of  those  of  a 
vicious  nature,  it  is  not  done  in  vain.  The  fact  that  Lewis'  life, 
through  dissipation,  vice,  exposure  and  crime,  was  only  thirty 
short  years,  will  also  impress  the  youth  of  the  land  as  they  see 
about  them  men  and  women  of  sixty,  seventy,  and  even  eighty, 
enjoying  all  the  comforts  of  life,  a  tribute  to  lives  of  honesty,  dis- 
cretion and  labor. 

This  chapter  would  not  be  complete  without  adding  that  Lewis 
came  of  good  people,  that  he  was  the  only  member  of  his  family 
who  trod  the  crooked  pathway  and  that  his  children  lived  honest 
and  straightforward  lives.  About  1845  a  handsome  young  woman 
— a  daughter  of  the  robber  by  a  second  marriage — resided  with  her 
mother  at  Harrisburg,  Pennsylvania's  capital,  where  she  attracted 
much  attention  by  her   frank,  open,  womanly  bearing. 


BY  an  act  of  the  State  Legislature  of  the  Commonwealth  of 
Pennsylvania  Perry  County  was  created,  the  act  being  signed 
by  the  governor,  William  Findlay,  on  March  22,  1820.  It 
was  the  fifty-first  county  of  the  state.  The  territory  was  a  part 
of  the  lands  covered  by  the  Indian  treaty  at  Albany,  New  York, 
)ulv  6,  1754,  of  which  mention  is  made  elsewhere.  The  lands 
covered  by  this  treaty  were  all  embraced  in  Cumberland  County 
at  that  time,  and  the  northern  part  was  formed  into  counties,  the 
last  one  being  Mifflin,  in  1789. 

When  Perry  County  was  formed  it  comprised  the  seven  town- 
ships of  Cumberland  County  lying  north  of  the  Blue  Hills,  or 
Kittatinny  Mountains.  Tyrone,  early  being  known  as  "the  ever- 
lasting State  of  Tyrone,"  was  the  oldest  of  these  townships,  being 
erected  in  1754.  The  other  six  were  Toboyne,  1762;  Rye.  1766; 
Greenwood,  1767 ;  Juniata,  1793;  Buffalo,  1798;  and  Saville. 

The  population  of  these  townships  was  considerable,  and  with 
the  incoming  of  new  settlers,  frequent  trips  to  the  county  seat  at 
Carlisle  were  necessary  in  connection  with  the  new  claims,  over 
roads  which  were  at  some  seasons  of  the  year  almost  impassable. 
The  fact  that  most  of  the  changes  in  property  in  those  days  occurred 
around  the  first  of  April,  when  the  roads  were  at  their  worst,  and 
that  the  shortest  routes  lay  over  the  Kittatinny  Mountain,  no  doubt, 
actuated  the  movement  for  the  new  county,  with  a  county  seat 
within  easy  distance.  In  conformity  with  this  desire  petitions 
were  presented  to  the  State  Legislature  then  in  session  and  the  act 
creating  Perry  County  was  passed. 

With  the  passing  years  the  residents  of  what  is  now  Perry — of 
the  Sherman's  Valley  and  the  land  between  the  rivers — became 
discontented  as  a  part  of  a  county  whose  seat  of  justice  was  south 
of  that  great  natural  barrier,  the  Kittatinny  or  Blue  Mountain, 
and  not  at  all  central.  In  fact,  the  physical  features  of  the  entire 
territory  of  Cumberland  at  that  time  were  such  that  there  could 
be  no  logical  central  point  to  locate  a  seat  of  justice ;  nature  had 
decreed  it  otherwise.  Those  located  north  of  the  Kittatinny  had 
to  travel  distances  which  were  as  far  as  forty  miles  to  the  county 
'seat ;  unlike  those  of  the  south  side  they  could  not  return  to  their 
homes  the  same  day,  and  were  thus  necessitated  securing  hotel 
accommodations,  which  cost  thousands  of  dollars  annually.     The 



expense  of  both  time  and  money  required  for  legal  action  at  the 
far-away  seat  of  justice  (with  the  then  methods  of  travel)  often 
was  the  cause  of  those  guilty  of  crimes  going  unpunished.  These 
and  many  other  reasons  are  enumerated  in  the  petition  praying 
for  the  new  county. 

Comprising  practically  half  of  Cumberland  County,  the  citizens 
of  what  is  now  Perry  contributed  approximately  half  of  the 
taxes.  The  public  buildings  at  Carlisle  had  been  built  by  funds 
supplied  by  taxation  on  both  sides  of  the  mountain,  yet  those  early 
settlers  of  the  north  side,  sometimes  referred  to  in  derision  as 
"Hoop-Pole  Perry"  by  those  of  the  southern  side,  did  not  ask  a 
commission's  action  in  stating  just  what  part  of  their  cost  should 
be  refunded  to  the  northern  section — as  is  often  done  in  this  mod- 

Photo    by   M.    C.   Shoivalter. 
Central    section    of   Landisburg.      To   the   left,    the    Reformed    church,   once   the   seat   of 
Mt.    Dempsey   Academy. 

ern  age  and  rightly  so — but  specifically  stated  "all  of  which  they 
are  willing  to  give  up,"  an  everlasting  credit  to  their  magnanimity 
and  financial  independence.  Such  were  the  sons  of  the  pioneers! 
As  the  population  of  the  northern  section  increased,  murmurings 
— at  first  considered  a  mere  passing  whim — were  heard.  Gradu- 
ally separation  from  the  mother  county  became  a  matter  of  bitter 
contention  in  local  affairs  and  in  elections,  often  causing  bitterness 
which  passed  from  one  generation  to  another.  It  seems  strange 
that  in  a  few  of  the  older  people  a  trace  of  resentment  is  still  to 
be  found,  a  heritage  from  the  generation  that  is  gone.  Those  who 
advocated  a  new  county  were  at  first  considered  fanatics  and  later 
— when  their  number  had  become  worth  reckoning  with — were 
known  as  "separatists"  on  the  north  side  of  the  mountain  and  as 
"seceders"  on  the  south  side.  At  the  general  elections  the  matter 
was  uppermost,  and  often  upon  it  hinged  defeat  or  political  ad- 
vancement. Of  the  bitterness,  as  the  years  passed,  there  is  evi- 
dence here  and  there.  The  story  is  told  of  an  early  settler  and 
wife  visiting  her  people  in  Carlisle  and  of  a  hasty  departure  for 


home  on  account  ot  a  vow  that  "no  child  of  mine  shall  first  open 
his  eyes  on  the  Cumberland  side  of  the  mountain." 

Eventually,  after  years  of  consideration  and  when  the  small 
body  of  original  enthusiasts  had  grown  to  a  vast  majority  of  the 
residents  of  the  northern  section,  petitions  were  prepared  and  cir- 
culated, with  the  end  in  view  of  presenting  them  to  the  Pennsyl- 
vania General  Assembly  in  session  at  Harrisburg,  praying  that  a 
new  county  be  formed.  The  petitions  were  printed  and  a  time- 
worn  one  is  in  the  possession  of  W.  H.  Sponsler,  a  New  Bloom- 
field  attorney-at-law.  At  several  places  words  are  obliterated  by 
the  ravages  of  time,  but  are  supplied  for  the  purpose  of  making 
clear  the  meaning  of  the  instrument,  the  contents  of  which  follow : 

The  Petition, 

Of  the  subscribers  residing  in  that  part  of  Cumberland  County  called 
Shearman's  Valley,  situate  on  the  north  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  to  the 
Honorable  the  Senate,  and  House  of  Representatives,  of  the  Common- 
wealth of  Pennsylvania,  in  General  Assembly  met,  at  their  session  of 

Humbly  Showeth, 
That  your  Petitioners  again  renew  their  prayers  for  a  division  of  Cum- 
berland County,  because  its  local  situation,  and  the  convenience  and  pros- 
perity of  the  people  of  Shearman's  Valley,  imperiously  require  a  division. 
The  local  situation  of  Cumberland  County,  is  as  follows,  viz:  It  is  bound 
on  the  north  by  the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  on  the  south  by  the  South  Moun- 
tain. The  Blue  Mountain  runs  through  the  County,  nearly  east  and  west, 
making  a  natural  division  of  said  County  into  two  valleys,  nearly  of  equal 
territory  and  population.  Carlisle,  our  present  seat  of  Justice,  is  situate 
in  the  Valley  on  the  Southern  side,  not  more  than  six  miles  from  the 
south  boundary,  and  in  the  most  eligible  and  central  part  of  it,  on  the  very 
spot  where  it  ought  to  be,  had  Shearman's  Valley  never  been  attached 
thereto.  On  the  north  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  lies  Shearman's  Valley, 
our  proposed  new  county,  which  is  in  length  east  and  west,  from  forty 
eight  to  fifty  miles;  and  the  general  breadth,  from  sixteen  to  eighteen 
miles ;  containing  twenty-two  hundred  taxable  inhabitants.  We  have 
forty-eight  Grist  and  Merchant  Mills,  sixty  Sawmills,  ten  Fulling  Mills, 
eight  Carding  Machines,  four  Oil  Mills,  one  Forge,  one  Furnace,  two 
Tilt-hammers  and  one  Powder  Mill;  we  have  beautiful  settlements, 
fertile  and  well  cultivated  lands,  and  wealthy  inhabitants,  yet  notwith- 
standing all  our  local  advantages  for  want  of  a  division  the  people  from 
the  upper  end  of  Shearman's  Valley  have  to  travel  thirty-six,  and  the  peo- 
ple from  the  lower  extreme,  have  to  travel  about  forty  miles,  to  Carlisle, 
our  present  seat  of  Justice;  and  that  is  not  all,  we  have  to  cross  and  re- 
cross,  that  almost  insuperable  barrier,  the  Blue  Mountain,  besides  the  Con- 
nodoguinet  Creek,  which  is  often  times  not  fordable  and  in  going  by 
Bridge,  those  from  the  upper  end  of  Shearman's  Valley,  have  to  travel 
seven  additional  miles  in  going  to  or  coming  from  Carlisle. 

There  are  a  number  of  counties  in  the  State,  which  have  neither  the 
population,  extent  of  territory  nor  fertility  of  soil  that  either  the  old  or 
new  counties  would  have  if  divided,  and  a  great  many  more,  that  the 
whole  amount  of  lands,  are  not  valued  so  high,  as  is  the  land  in  Cumber- 
land  County. 

Therefore,  in  point  of  numbers  and  wealth,  we  consider  ourselves  alto- 
gether competent  to  support  a  County  and  the  administration  of  Justice ; 


for  if  a  division  was  granted,  our  saving  in  travelling  expenses,  and  lying 
at  Court  in  Carlisle,  at  so  great  distance  from  home,  would  amount  in 
short  time  to  a  sum  sufficient,  to  make  our  Public  Buildings;  and  Justice 
could  be  administered,  for  much  less  than  one-half  the  expense,  that  the 
whole  County  now  costs.  For  the  intercourse  between  the  people  on  tins 
side,  and  the  people  on  the  other  side  the  Blue  Mountain,  is  so  trifling, 
that  it  rarely  happens,  that  any  suit  of  importance  comes  before  the  Court, 
where  persons  from  both  sides  are  concerned.  But  the  Court  being  occu- 
pied by  parties  both  from  one  side  or  the  other;  so  that  while  causes 
from  the  south  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain  are  before  the  Court,  the  people 
from  the  north  side,  who  have  causes  depending,  are  obliged  to  lie  with 
their  witnesses,  at  great  expense,  very  often  for  several  courts  succes- 
sively, which  in  most  cases  increases  the  expenses  above  the  matter  in 
controversy:  and  moreover,  it  gives  the  wicked,  unjust  and  troublesome, 
a  complete  triumph  over  Justice,  because  many  would  rather  give  up  their 
just  rights,  than  seek  Justice  at  such  a  vast  expense,  and  further,  the  peo- 
ple on  this  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  have  been  at  their  full  share  of  ex- 
penses, in  building  a  Court  House,  a  house  for  the  public  offices,  a  Jail 
and  Penitentiary  at  Carlisle;  all  which  they  are  willing  to  give  up  their 
part  of,  to  the  people  on  the  other  side,  if  the  Legislature  will  pass  a  law 
to  divide  the  County. 

It  would  be  a  moderate  computation,  to  say  that  each  taxable  inhabitant 
of  our  proposed  new  County,  would  have  to  go  to  Carlisle,  at  least  once 
a  year,  on  business,  either  to  Court,  or  some  of  the  public  offices;  the  ex- 
penses upon  the  average,  with  loss  of  time,  cannot  be  computed  at  less 
than  three  dollars  per  man.  If  we  were  divided,  there  would  be  a  saving 
of  at  least  one-half,  say  3300  dollars,  to  the  people  of  this  side,  in  the  bare 
item  of  travelling  expenses  and  loss  of  time.  Besides  there  would  be  a 
saving  of  at  least  double  that  sum  in  Mileage  of  Sheriffs,  Jurors,  and  Wit- 
nesses, to  say  nothing  of  the  saving  to  the  estates  of  widows  and  orphans. 
Upon  the  whole,  the  people  on  this  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  at  a  mod- 
erate calculation  sustain  a  loss  of  at  least  10,000  dollars  per  annum  for 
want  of  division. 

We  ask  part  of  no  other  County,  we  ask  barely  what  nature  intended, 
by  rearing  a  stupendous  Mountain,  dividing  the  present  large  boundary  of 
Cumberland  County  into  two  Valleys  nearly  equal;  each  of  which  being 
sufficiently  large  for  a  County,  and  the  people  on  our  side,  labour  under 
the  most  intolerable  inconvenience,  by  reason  of  their  having  to  cross  the 
Mountain,  whenever  business  of  a  public  nature  is  to  be  transacted. 

Therefore,  your  petitioners  most  sincerely  pray  that  your  Honorable 
body,  will  pass  a  law,  to  divide  Cumberland  County,  making  the  summit 
of   the   Blue   Mountain   the   division   line. 

And  we  further  pray,  that  the  Governor  be  authorized  to  appoint  three 
or  five  disinterested,  respectable,  Judicious  and  honest  men,  living  out  of 
the  County,  to  explore  our  new  County,  and  fix  a  scite  for  the  seat  of 
lustice,  and  your  petitioners  as  in  duty  bound  will  ever  pray. 

We,  the  undersigned  living  on  the  south  side  of  the  Blue  Mountain  pray 
the  representatives  of  Pennsylvania,  in  general  assembly  met  now  in  ses- 
sion of  1819-20  to  grant  the  people  of  Shearman's  Valley  a  County  north 
of  the  Blue  Mountain  separate  from  Cumberland  County  and  your  peti- 
tioners as  in  duty  bound  will   pray,  etc. 

The  words  ''that  your  petitioners  again  renew  their  prayers," 
in  the  beginning  of  the  petition,  imply  that  previous  effort  or  ef- 
forts had  been  made  towards  separation  from  Cumberland  County, 


but  attempts  to  find  facts  relating  thereto  have  been  unavailing. 
While  the  language  of  the  petition  is  more  or  less  crude,  the  rea- 
sons presented  were  plausible,  as  any  person  having  even  a  small 

knowledge  of  legal  procedure  must  readily  sec.  Who  were  the 
leading  spirits  that  urged  it  and  later  saw  it  an  accomplished  fact  ? 
No  records  remain  to  tell,  but  a  perusal  of  the  early  citizens  whose 
names  stand  forth  in  the  county's  first  years  must  necessarily  in- 
clude many  of  them.  Having  pressed  to  success  their  design  it 
would  be  but  natural  to  see  them  play  a  leading  part  in  the  affairs 
of  their  new  county. 

To  the  south  lay  Carlisle — staid,  pedantic,  historic,  aristocratic 
and  the  seat  of  a  government  military  post.  It  seemed  strange  to 
that  town  "that  a  country  of  sparse  population,  with  no  towns  of 
importance  and  only  a  river  or  two  and  a  few  mountain  streams 
for  transportation  and  selling  mostly  'hoop  poles'  and  furs"  should 
have  a  desire  to  become  a  separate  county.  Its  formation  would 
be  a  great  blow  to  the  commerce  and  trade  of  Carlisle,  as  to  it 
went  largely  the  trade  of  the  entire  Sherman's  Valley,  taken  thence 
by  those  who  went  on  legal  errands  ;  and  from  Carlisle  came  the 
opposition  to  the  birth  of  the  new  county.  Until  then  the  Sher- 
man's Valley  people  were  largely  tied  economically  to  Carlisle  ; 
but  the  building  of  the  canals  and  later  the  railroad  changed  the 
course  of  trade.  The  automobile  has  again  somewhat  reversed 
trade  conditions  for  residents  of  the  vicinity  of  Shermansdale. 
At  the  time  of  the  passage  of  this  act  William  Anderson,  of  the 
Perry  County  territory,  was  one  of  the  three  members  of  the  legis- 
lature from  Cumberland  County. 

The  text  of  the  act  creating  the  new  county  follows : 

The  Legislative  Act  Creating  Perry  County. 

An  act  erecting  part  of  Cumberland  County,  into  a  separate  county  to  be 
called   Perry. 

Sec.  1.  Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives  of  the 
Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania,  in  General  Assembly  met.  and  it  is  hereby 
enacted  by  the  authority  of  the  same,  That  from  and  after  the  first  day  of 
September  next  all  that  part  of  Cumberland  County  lying  north  of  the 
Blue  Mountain,  beginning  on  the  summit  of  the  Blue  Mountain,  where  the 
Franklin  County  line  crosses  the  same,  and  running  thence  along  the  sum- 
mit thereof  an  eastwardly  course  to  the  river  Susquehanna,  thence  up  the 
west  side  of  the  same  to  the  line  of  Mifflin  County,  thence  along  the  Mifflin 
County  line  to  the  summit  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain,  thence  along  the 
summit  of  the  same  to  the  Franklin  County  line,  thence  along  the  same  to 
the  place  of  beginning,  be  and  the  same  is  hereby  declared  to  be  erected 
into  a  separate  county  to  be  called  Perry. 

Sec.  2.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  the 
inhabitants  of  the  said  county  of  Perry  from  and  after  the  first  day  of 
September  next,  shall  be  entitled  to  and  at  all  times  thereafter  have,  all 
and  singular  the  courts,  jurisdictions,  offices,  rights  and  privileges,  to  which 


the  inhabitants  of  other  counties  of  this  state  are  entitled  by  the  Constitu- 
tion and  laws  of   this  commonwealth. 

Sec  3.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  the 
several  courts  in  and  for  the  said  county  of  Perry,  shall  be  opened  and 
held  at  such  house  in  the  town  of  Landisburg,  as  may  be  designated  by 
the  commissioners  of  said  county,  to  be  elected  at  the  next  general  elec- 
tion, until  a  courthouse  shall  be  erected  in  and  for  said  county,  as  is  here- 
inafter directed,  and  shall  be  then  held  at  said  courthouse,  at  which  place 
the  returns  of  the  general  election  in  and  for  the  county  of  Perry  shall 
be  made. 

Sec.  4.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
suits  which  shall  be  pending  and  undetermined  in  the  Court  of  Common 
Pleas  of  Cumberland  County,  on  the  first  day  of  September  next,  where 
both  parties  in  suit  or  suits  shall  at  that  time  be  resident  in  the  county  of 
Perry,  shall  be  transferred  to  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  Perry 
County,  and  shall  be  considered  as  pending  in  said  court,  and  shall  be 
proceeded  on  in  like  manner  as  if  the  same  had  been. originally  commenced 
in  said  court,  except  that  the  fees  on  the  same  due  to  the  officers  of  Cum- 
berland County,  shall  be  paid  to  them  when  recovered  by  the  prothonotary 
or  sheriff  of  Perry  County;  and  the  prothonotary  of  Cumberland  County 
shall  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  September  next  purchase  a  docket,  and 
copy  therein  all  the  docket  entries  respecting  the  said  suits  to  be  trans- 
ferred as  aforesaid,  and  shall  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  November 
next,  have  the  said  docket,  together  with  the  records,  declarations  and 
other  papers  respecting  said  suits,  ready  to  be  delivered  to  the  prothono- 
tary of  Perry  County;  the  expense  of  said  docket  and  copying  to  be  paid 
by  the  prothonotary  of  Perry  County,  and  reimbursed  by  the  said  county 
of  Perry,  on  warrants  to  be  drawn  by  the  commissioners  of  Perry  County 
on  the  treasurer  thereof. 

Sec.  5.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  all 
taxes  or  arrears  of  taxes  laid  or  which  have  become  due  within  the  said 
county  of  Perry  before  the  passing  of  this  act,  and  all  sums  of  money  due 
to  this  commonwealth  for  militia  fines  in  the  said  county  of  Perry,  shall 
be  collected  and  recovered  as  if  this  act  had  not  been  passed:  Provided 
always,  That  the  money  arising  from  county  taxes  assessed  or  to  be  as- 
sessed within  the  limits  of  the  county  of  Perry,  subsequently  to  the  first 
day  of  November  last,  shall  from  time  to  time,  as  the  same  may  be  col- 
lected, be  paid  into  the  treasury  of  the  county  of  Cumberland  for  the  use 
and  benefit  of  the  county  of  Perry;  until  a  treasurer  shall  be  appointed 
in  the  county  of  Perry,  and  the  treasurer  of  the  county  of  Cumberland 
shall  keep  separate  accounts  thereof,  and  pay  the  same  to  the  treasurer 
of  the  county  of  Perry  as  soon  as  he  shall  have  been  appointed;  and 
whatever  part  of  said  taxes  may  remain  uncollected  in  the  county  of 
Perry  at  the  time  of  the  appointment  of  the  treasurer  thereof,  the  same 
shall  be  collected  in  the  usual  manner,  and  paid  into  the  treasury  of  the 
county  of  Perry. 

See.  6.  And  he  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
sheriff,  treasurer,  prothonotary  and  all  such  officers  as  are  by  law  required 
to  give  surety  for  the  faithful  discharge  of  the  duties  of  their  respective 
offices,  who  shall  hereafter  be  appointed  or  elected  in  the  said  county  of 
Perry,  before  they  or  any  of  them  shall  enter  on  the  execution  thereof, 
shall  give  sufficient  security  in  the  same  manner  and  form  and  for  the 
same  uses,  trusts  and  purposes,  as  such  officers  for  the  time  being  are 
obliged  by  law  to  give  in  the  county  of  Cumberland. 

Sec.  7.  And  be  if  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
sheriff,  coroner  and  other  officers  of  the  county  of  Cumberland,  shall  con- 


2<  >; 

tinue  to  exercise  the  duties  of  their  respective  offices  within  the  county 
of  Perry,  until  similar  officers  shall  be  elected  or  appointed,  as  the  case 
may  be,  agreeably  to  law  within  the  said  county;  and  the  persons  who 
shall  be  appointed  associate  judges  for  the  county  of  Perry,  shall  take 
and  subscribe  the  requisite  oaths  or  affirmation  of  office  before  the  pro- 
thonotary  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  the  county  of  Cumberland, 
who  shall  file  a  record  of  the  same  in  the  office  of  the  prothonotary  of 
the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  Perry  County. 

Sec.  8.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
inhabitants  of  the  county  of  Perry  shall  elect  one  representative  and  the 
county  of  Cumberland  two,  until  otherwise  altered,  and  in  conjunction 
with  Cumberland  County  one  senator  to  serve  in  the  legislature  of  this 
commonwealth  in  the  same  mode,  under  the  same  regulations,  and  make 
return  thereof  in  the  same  manner,  as  is  directed  by  the  fifteenth  section 
of  this   act. 

Sec.  9.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  the 
governor  be  and  he  is  hereby  authorized  and  required,  on  or  before  the 
first  day  of  September  next  ensuing,  to  appoint  three  discreet  and  disin- 
terested persons,  not  resident  in  the  counties  of  Cumberland  or  Perry, 
whose  duty  it  shall  be,  to  fix  on  a  proper  and  convenient  scite  for  a  court- 
house, prison  and  county  offices  within  the  aforesaid  county  of  Perry,  as 
near  the  centre  thereof,  as  circumstances  will  admit,  having  regard  to  the 
convenience  of  roads,  territory,  population  and  the  accommodation  of  the 
people  of  the  said  county  generally;  and  said  persons,  or  a  majority  of 
them,  having  viewed  the  relative  advantages  of  the  several  situations  con- 
templated by  the  people,  shall  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  September 
next,  by  a  written  report  under  their  hands  or  under  the  hands  of  a  ma- 
jority of  them,  certify,  describe  and  limit  the  scite  or  lot  of  land  which 
they  shall  have  chosen  for  the  purpose  aforesaid,  and  shall  transmit  the 
said  report  to  the  governor  of  this  commonwealth;  and  the  persons  so  as 
aforesaid  appointed,  shall  each  receive  three  dollars  per  diem  for  their 
services  out  of  the  monies  to  be  raised  in  pursuance  of  this  act:  Provided 
always,  That  before  the  commissioners  shall  proceed  to  perform  the  du- 
ties enjoined  on  them  by  this  act,  they  shall  take  an  oath  or  affirmation 
before  some  judge  or  justice  of  the  peace,  well  and  truly  and  with  fidelity 
to  perform  said  duties  without  favor  to  any  person,  according  to  the  true 
intent  and  meaning  of  this  act. 

Sec.  10.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  it 
shall  and  may  be  lawful  for  the  commissioners  of  the  county  of  Perry 
who  shall  be  elected  at  the  next  annual  election,  to  take  assurance  to  them 
and  their  successors  in  office  of  such  lot,  or  lots  or  piece  of  ground  as 
shall  have  been  approved  of  by  the  persons  appointed  as  aforesaid,  or  a 
majority  of  them,  for  the  purpose  of  erecting  thereon  a  courthouse,  jail 
and  offices  for  the  safe  keeping  of  the  records;  and  the  county  commis- 
sioners are  hereby  authorized  to  assess,  levy  and  collect  in  the  manner 
directed  by  the  acts  for  raising  county  rates  and  levies,  a  sufficient  sum  to 
defray  the  expenses  thereof,  and  also  are  hereby  authorized  to  assess, 
levy  and  collect  for  the  purpose  of  building  a  courthouse  and  prison,  which 
they  are  hereby  authorized  to  erect,  a  sufficient  sum  to  defray  the  ex- 
penses thereof. 

Sec.  11.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
said  county  of  Perry  shall  form  a  part  of  the  district  composed  of  the 
counties  of  Cumberland,  Franklin  and  Adams  for  the  election  of  members 
of  congress. 

Sec.  12.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  the 
judges  of  the   Supreme   Court   shall  have   like  powers,   jurisdictions  and 


authorities  within  the  said  county  of  Perry,  as  hy  law  they  are  vested 
with  and  entitled  to  have  and  exercise  in  other  counties  of  this  state; 
and  the  said  county  is  hereby  annexed  to  the  southern  district  of  the  Su- 
preme Court. 

Sec.  13.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
county  of  Perry  shall  be  annexed  to  and  compose  part  of  the  ninth  judi- 
cial district  of  this  commonwealth  and  the  courts  in  said  county  of  Perry 
shall  be  held  on  the  Monday  after  the  courts  in  Franklin  County. 

Sec.  14.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  all 
certioraries  directed  to  and  appeals  from  the  judgment  of  any  justice  of 
the  peace  of  the  said  county  of  Perry,  and  all  criminal  prosecutions  which 
may  originate  in  the  said  county  before  the  test  day  hereinafter  mentioned, 
shall  be  proceeded  in  as  heretofore  in  the  Courts  of  Common  Pleas  and 
Quarter  Sessions  of  the  county  of  Cumberland,  and  all  process  to  issue 
from  the  courts  of  the  said  county  of  Perry,  returnable  to  the  first  term 
in  said  county,  shall  bear  test  on  the  third  Monday  of  November  next. 

Sec.  15.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
judges  of  the  district  elections  within  each  of  the  said  counties  of  Cum- 
berland and  Perry  after  having  formed  the  returns  of  the  whole  election 
for  senator  within  each  county  in  such  maimer  as  is  or  may  be  directed 
by  law,  shall  on  the  third  Tuesday  in  October  in  each  year  send  the  same 
by  one  or  more  of  their  number  to  the  courthouse  in  the  borough  of  Car- 
lisle in  the  county  of  Cumberland,  when  and  where  the  judges  so  met 
shall  cast  up  the  several  county  returns,  and  execute  under  their  respec- 
tive hands  as  many  returns  for  the  whole  district  as  may  be  requisite,  and 
also  transmit  the  same  as  is  by  law  required  of  the  return  judges  in  other 

Sec.  16.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  in 
all  cases  when  it  would  be  lawful  for  the  sheriff,  jailor,  or  prison  keeper 
of  the  county  of  Perry,  to  hold  in  close  custody  the  body  of  any  person 
in  the  common  jail  of  the  said  county,  if  such  jail  were  at  this  time  erected 
in  and  for  the  said  county,  such  persons  shall  be  delivered  to  and  kept  in 
close  custody  by  the  sheriff,  jailor  or  prison  keeper  of  the  county  of  Cum- 
berland, who  upon  delivery  of  such  prisoner  to  him  or  to  them  at  the 
common  jail  in  said  county  of  Cumberland  shall  safely  keep  him,  her  or 
them  until  they  be  discharged  by  due  course  of  law,  and  shall  also  be  an- 
swerable in  like  manner  and  liable  to  the  same  pains  and  penalties  as  if 
the  persons  so  delivered  were  liable  to  confinement  in  the  common  jail  of 
Cumberland  County;  and  the  parties  aggrieved  shall  be  entitled  to  the 
same  remedies  against  them  or  any  of  them,  as  if  such  prisoner  had  been 
committed  to  his  or  their  custody  by  virtue  of  legal  process  issued  by 
proper  authority  of  the  said  county  of  Cumberland:  Provided  always. 
That  the  sheriff  of  Perry  County  be  allowed  out  of  the  county  stock  of 
said  county,  ten  cents  per  mile  as  a  full  compensation  for  every  person 
charged  with  a  criminal  offense  which  he  may  deliver  to  the  jail  of  Cum- 
berland County  by  virtue  of  this  act,  on  orders  drawn  by  the  commis- 
sioners of  Perry  County  on  the  treasury  thereof. 

Sec.  17.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
sheriff,  jailor  and  prison  keeper  of  the  county  of  Cumberland  shall  receive 
all  prisoners  as  aforesaid,  and  shall  provide  for  .them,  according  to  law, 
and  shall  be  entitled  to  the  fees  for  keeping  them,  and  also  to  such  allow- 
ance as  is  by  law  directed  for  the  maintenance  of  prisoners  in  similar 
cases,  which  allowance  shall  be  defrayed  and  paid  by  the  commissioners 
of  the  county  of  Perry  out  of  the  county  stock. 

Sec.  18.     And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid.  That  the 

sixteenth   and   seventeenth    sections   of   this   act   shall   be   and   continue   in 


force  for  the  term  of  three  years,  or  until  the  commissioners  of  Perry 
County  shall  have  certified  to  the  court,  that  a  jail  is  erected  and  ready 
for  the  reception  of  prisoners  and  approved  of  by  the  court  and  grand 
jury,  who  shall  enter  their  approbation,  signed  by  them,  on  the  record  of 
said  court;  and  from  thenceforth  it  shall  be  lawful  for  the  sheriff  of 
Perry  County,  to  receive  all  and  every  person  or  persons  who  may  then  be 
confined  in  the  jail  of  Cumberland  County,  in  pursuance  of  this  act,  and 
convey  them  to  the  jail  of  Perry  County,  and  to  keep  them  in  custody 
until  they  be  discharged  by  due  course  of  law. 

Sec.  19.  And  be  it  further  enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  That  the 
poorhouse  establishment,  which  will  be  included  in  the  county  of  Perry, 
shall  be  and  continue  to  be  conducted  as  heretofore  for  the  term  of  four 
years,  from  and  after  the  passage  of  this  act,  and  at  the  expiration  of  the 
said  four  years,  the  commissioners  of  Cumberland  County  shall  remove 
their  paupers  into  their  own  county. 

(Passed  March  22, 1820.  Recorded  in  Penna.  Laws,  No.  XVIII, 
p.  11.) 

The  northern  bonndary  of  the  new  county,  described  as  "thence 
along  the  Mifflin  County  line,"  refers  to  the  present  Juniata 
County  line,  as  Juniata  had  not  then  yet  been  taken  from  Mifflin 
and  made  a  separate  county. 

When  Cumberland  County  was  erected  in  1750,  the  eastern 
boundary  line  was  made  specific,  as  Cumberland's  lands  were  to 
lie  "to  the  westward  of  the  Susquehanna."  Whether  that  was  the 
intention  of  those  who  drew  the  act  or  not  will  never  be  known, 
but  when  Perry  County's  territory  was  taken  from  Cumberland, 
it  inherited  that  boundary  line.  This  line  has  never  been  changed 
by  man,  save  that  by  two  special  acts  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legisla- 
ture, islands  in  the  Susquehanna  River  have  become  a  part  of 
Perry.  The  Act  of  March  7,  1856,  detached  from  Upper  Paxton 
Township,  Dauphin  County,  an  island  "by  the  name  of  Crow's 
Island,  to  be  attached  to  and  hereafter  become  a  part  of  Perry 
County."  The  Act  of  March  21,  1868,  detached  from  Middle 
Paxton  Township,  Dauphin  County,  and  annexed  to  Perm  Town- 
ship, Perry  County,  the  island  below  Duncannon,  known  as  Wis- 
ter's  Island.  Just  where  the  county  line  would  be  drawn  at  these 
two  points  has  never  been  determined. 

The  northern  line,  as  stated  in  the  act  erecting  Perry  County, 
starts  at  the  Susquehanna  at  the  line  of  Mifflin  County  (now  the 
southern  line  of  Juniata  County),  "thence  along  the  Mifflin  County 
line  to  the  summit  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain."  The  act  creating 
Mifflin  County  designated  the  southern  boundary  thus :  "Begin- 
ning at  the  Susquehanna  River  where  the  Turkey  Hill  extends  to 
said  river;  thence  along  said  hill  to  Juniata,  where  it  cuts  Tusca- 
rora Mountain,  thence  along  the  summit  of  said  mountain  to  the 
line  of  Franklin  County."  Consequently,  on  Turkey  Hill,  the 
ridge  which  lies  between  Liverpool  and  Greenwood  Townships  of 
Perry  County  and  Susquehanna  and  Greenwood  Townships  of 


Juniata  County,  is  the  county  line  of  that  part  of  the  county  lying 
east  of  the  Juniata.  To  residents  of  that  section  of  the  county 
"Turkey  Hill"  is  known  as  Turkey  Ridge,  and  the  first  valley  north 
of  it  (in  Juniata  Count})  is  known  as  Turkey  Valley. 

An  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  December  23,  1824, 
authorized  the  appointment  of  John  Harper,  of  Cumberland 
County ;  John  Cox,  of  Franklin  County,  and  Robert  Clark,  of 
Perry  County,  to  run  the.  line  dividing  Cumberland  and  Perry. 

Perry  County  had  been  erected  for  fourteen  years  before  the 
northern  boundary  line  was  run  by  surveyors.  An  act  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Legislature  of  April  14,  1834,  authorized  its  survey, 
and  David  Hough,  of  Mifflin  County;  Samuel  Wallick,  of  Juniata 
County,  and  Jason  W.  Eby,  of  Cumberland  County,  were  ap- 
pointed commissioners  to  conduct  it.  They  were  required  to  run 
the  line  before  June  15,  1834.  They  were  to  make  duplicate  drafts 
of  the  survey,  inserting  the  courses  and  distances  "in  words,  at 
length,"  and  to  furnish  a  copy  to  the  prothonotary  of  each  county, 
to  be  "thereafter  considered  a  public  record."  Evidently  their 
task  was  not  entirely  completed  until  the  time  limit,  yet  the  fifth 
section  of  an  act  of  April  4,  1835,  ratified  it  and  declared  it  to  be 
of  the  same  effect  as  if  finished  at  the  appointed  time.  According 
to  records  Jason  W.  Eby  did  not  act,  the  other  commissioners 
running  the  line.  In  all  probability  the  line  then  designated  did 
not  meet  with  the  approval  of  all,  for  on  April  2,  i860,  an  act 
was  passed  by  the  legislature  to  rerun  that  part  of  the  line  located 
west  of  the  Juniata  river.  James  Woods  and  Mitchell  Patton,  of 
Perry  County,  and  George  W.  Jacobs,  of  Juniata  County,  were 
appointed  commissioners  for  that  purpose.  The  line  was  to  be 
located  by  September  I,  i860,  and  was  to  be  marked  "upon  the 
ground,  by  distinct  and  permanent  marks,  wherever  and  as  often 
as  the  said  division  line  crosses  any  public  road  or  highway  and 
at  other  convenient  distances,  on  the  aforesaid  line."  Like  the 
previous  commissioners,  they  were  instructed  to  make  duplicate 
drafts,  but  with  the  specific  provision  that  they  were  to  be  "with 
courses  and  distances  plainly  laid  down,  with  reference  to  the  im- 
provements through  which  said  line  may  pass,  one  of  which  they 
shall  deposit  in  each  of  the  prothonotary's  offices  of  the  aforesaid 
counties,  as  soon  thereafter  as  practical,  which  shall  be  considered 
as  a  public  record."  The  courses  and  distances  are  merely  statis- 
tical and  are  not  considered  of  enough  importance  to  reproduce 
here.  They  may  be  referred  to  at  the  courthouse  in  either  Perry 
or  Juniata  Counties.  The  survey  of  i860  differed  little  from  that 
of   1834. 

The  western  county  line  was  the  original  line  between  the  an- 
cient township  of  Fannett  and  Toboyne,  Cumberland  County. 
Fannett  became  a  part  of  Franklin  County  and  Toboyne,  a  part  of 


Perry  County.  This  old  line  sufficed  until  [841,  when,  on  April 
28,  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  passed  an  act  "for  the  purpose  of 
running  and  marking  the  lines  between  Franklin  and  Perry  Coun- 
ties." Abraham  S.  McKinney,  of  Cumberland  Comity;  John 
Johnston,  of  Terry  Comity,  and  Andrew  Wilson,  of  Franklin 
Comity,  were  appointed  commissioners  to  run  the  line.  To  them 
was  left  little  but  the  actual  surveying,  as  the  language  of  the  act 
commanded  them  to  leave  the  entire  Amberson  Valley  in  Franklin 
County,  and  the  entire  Sherman's  Valley  in  Ferry  County.  The  line 
was  to  start  "at  the  corner  of  Cumberland  and  Franklin  Counties, 
on  the  top  of  the  Blue  Mountain  ;  thence  by  a  line  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Concord,  to  the  summit  of  the  next  mountain  ;  thence  along 
the  summit  of  said  mountain  as  far  as  practicable,  so  as  to  leave 
the  entire  valley  of  Amberson,  in  the  county  of  Franklin,  and  to 
divide  the  mountain  territory  as  equally  as  possible  between  the 
two  counties ;  thence  along  the  summit  of  the  Round  Top,  to  the 
most  practicable  point  on  the  Conococheague  Mountain,  leaving 
the  entire  valley  called  Sherman's  Valley,  in  the  county  of  Perry ; 
and  thence  to  the  corner  between  Franklin,  Perry  and  Juniata 
Counties;  and  said  commissioners  are  required  in  all  cases  (in 
running  said  division  line),  to  keep  as  near  possible  to  the  sum- 
mit of  said  mountains."  A  year's  time  was  allotted  in  which  to 
complete  the  task  and  triplicate  copies  of  the  survey  made,  one 
each  for  the  offices  of  the  prothonotary  of  Perry  and  Franklin 
Counties  and  a  third  for  the  office  of  the  surveyor  general.  This 
survey  was  a  complicated  affair  to  tackle,  as  anyone  familiar  with 
the  various  laps  of  the  mountains  there  can  readily  realize. 

There  is  a  legend  that  at  the  northeastern  corner  of  Perry 
County,  in  the  river,  there  is  a  rock  which  is  supposed  to  be  the 
corner  stone  of  five  counties :  Northumberland,  Dauphin,  Perry, 
Juniata,  and  Snyder.  This  is  another  of  those  local  legends 
which  is  not  borne  out  by  facts.  The  fact  is  that  but  three, 
Dauphin,  Perry,  and  Juniata  Counties,  meet  at  the  river  shore  at 
that  point.  Juniata  has  a  short  stretch  of  river  frontage,  which 
bars  Snyder  from  touching,  and  the  Dauphin-Northumberland 
line  would  touch  the  shore  considerably  below  the  Perry-Juniata 
line.  A  similar  legend,  relating  to  the  northwestern  boundary, 
would  have  four  counties,  Perry,  Juniata,  Huntingdon,  and  Frank- 
lin, centre  at  a  common  corner.  Save  that  of  Huntingdon,  the 
other  three  do  meet  there. 

When  Perry  County  was  formed  Landisburg  was  designated 
as  the  temporary  county  seat,  pending  the  selection  of  a  permanent 
site,  and  its  residents  immediately,  as  noted  elsewhere,  began  a 
campaign  to  secure  that  advantage  permanently.  During  the  time 
the  town  was  the  county  seat,  the  courts  were  held  in  a  log  build- 
ing, located  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Carlisle  and  Water  Streets. 


It  was  unfinished,  "chunked  and  daubed."  The  entire  first  floor 
was  occupied  by  the  court  room,  while  the  second  floor  was  di- 
vided by  board  partitions  into  an  office  for  the  county  commis- 
sioners, a  room  for  the  grand  jury  and  a  room  for  the  traverse 
jury.  The  entrance  to  the  second  story  was  by  a  rude  open  stair- 
way from  the  court  room.  The  judge's  "bench"  was  made  of  un- 
planed  boards  and  was  located  on  a  raised  platform  at  the  north- 
ern end  of  the  room.  At  its  front  was  a  shelf,  the  top  of  which 
was  used  to  write  upon  or  for  placing  documents,  etc.  The  coun- 
sel table  was  an  ordinary  pine  dinner  table.  The  clerks'  desks 
were  very  ordinary  wooden  affairs  and  the  seats  in  the  court  room 
ordinary  board  benches.  A  small  one-story  dwelling  adjoined  it 
on  the  west,  on  Water  Street,  in  which  lived  a  tanner  by  the  name 
of  Allen  Nesbit,  whose  small  tanyard  was  located  on  the  same  lot. 
He  rented  the  building  to  the  new  county  for  fifty  dollars  a  year. 
With  the  exception  of  the  commissioners'  office  the  other  county 
offices  were  located  in  the  homes  of  the  officials.  The  first  sheriff, 
Daniel  Stambaugh,  and  also  his  successor,  Jesse  Miller,  had  the 
office  in  the  house  located  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Centre  Square, 
the  first  sheriff  dying  there  during  his  term.  The  house  is  now 
owned  by  the  S.  P.  Lightner  estate.  Mrs.  Lightner  occupying  the 

The  register  and  recorder's  office  was  located  on  Water  Street, 
in  a  stone  house  belonging  to  Mrs.  Robert  Shuman  at  this  time. 
This  building  had  once  been  a  hotel  operated  by  W.  P.  West.  Its 
erection  was  started  in  1794  and  it  was  completed  in  1809.  The 
rear  part,  or  addition,  was  built  of  logs  and  in  it  at  one  time  was 
a  factory  in  which  nails  were  made  by  hand,  machine-made  nails 
being  then  unknown. 

The  prothonotary's  office  was  located  in  the  parlor  of  the  Pat- 
terson brick  building,  on  Carlisle  Street,  until  1826,  when  removed 
to  the  new  courthouse  at  New  Bloomfield.  William  B.  Mitchell 
was  the  prothonotary.  This  lot  was  bought  December  11,  1811, 
by  Jacob  Fritz  and  sold  to  Samuel  Anderson,  who  built  the  brick 
building.  After  1826  it  passed  to  Henry  Fetter,  who  was  a  mer- 
chant  there  for  years. 

John  Topley,  Sr.,  was  the  court  crier.  Court  was  called  by  small 
boys  ringing  a  bell  along  the  street.  Until  each  obtained  a  church 
building  of  its  own  the  court  room  was  the  place  of  worship  of 
the  Presbyterian  and  Methodist  congregations.  When  the  court- 
bouse  at  New  Bloomfield  was  completed  and  the  county  seat  re- 
moved the  old  courthouse  became  the  property  of  Robert  Gibson, 
who  used  it  for  a  cabinet  maker's  shop  until  1840,  when  he  razed 
it  and  built  the  present  building,  which  is  now  owned  by  D.  B. 


The  first  court  of  common  pleas  ever  held  in  Perry  County 
was  convened  in  Landisburg  on  December  4,  1820.  John  Reed, 
originally  of  Westmoreland  County,  was  the  president  judge,  and 
William  Anderson  and  Jeremiah  Madden  were  the  associate 
judges.  David  Stambaugh  was  sheriff.  The  first  grand  jurors 
were  William  English,  Henry  Bellin,  William  Brown,  Jacob  Weib- 
ley,  and  Joshua  Jones,  of  Juniata  Township ;  Andrew  Linn,  Peter 
Moses,  Philip  Fosselman,  Christian  Simons,  Henry  Hippie, 
Thomas  Kennedy,  and  John  Eaton,  of  Tyrone  Township;  Con- 
rad Rice,  John  Milligan,  Thomas  Milligan,  Moses  Oatley,  Jacob 
Burd,  and  Jacob  Keiser,  of  Saville  Township ;  William  Arbigast, 
of  Greenwood  Township ;  William  Potter,  of  Buffalo  Township ; 
Samuel  Willis,  of  Rye  Township;  Nicholas  Burd,  John  Kogan, 
and  Daniel  Motzer,  of  Toboyne  Township. 

The  first  traverse  jurors  were  George  Beard,  John  Linn,  John 
Staily,  Josiah  Roddy,  Jacob  Reiber,  George  Arnold,  Charles  El- 
liott, John  Moses,  Peter  Baker,  John  Elliott,  John  Holland,  Robin- 
son Black,  Samuel  Linn,  Andrew  Mateer,  Thomas  Black,  Nicholas 
Ickes,  Frederick  Peale,  Samuel  Grubb,  John  Purcell,  Jushua 
North,  Jr.,  Charles  Wright,  John  Keiser,  William  McClure,  Jr., 
Michael  Horting,  Benjamin  Leas,  Sr.,  Daniel  Bloom,  Owen 
Owen,  Philip  Deckard,  John  Hallopeter,  John  Snyder,  John  Rum- 
baugh,  Jacob  Dubbs,  and  Samuel  Thompson.  They  were  paid  for 
five  days,  except  Nicholas  Ickes,  who  was  present  only  four  days, 
at  the  rate  of  $1.00  per  day  and  twelve  and  one-half  cents  per 
mile,  one  way,  and  the  total  cost  of  this  jury  was  $223.25. 

The  constables  at  this  time  were:  George  Fetterman,  Buffalo 
Township;  John  O'Brian,  Greenwood  Township;  Thomas  Mar- 
tin, Juniata  Township;  Daniel  McAllister,  Rye  Township;  Ma- 
thias  Moyer,  Saville  Township;  John  Cree,  Tyrone  Township; 
Abraham  Kistler,  Tyrone  Township,  and  James  McKim,  Toboyne 
Township.  The  grand  jury  were  paid  $1.00  per  day  and  six  cents 
per  mile  circular,  and  for  two  days,  the  total  cost  of  the  first  grand 
jury  having  been  $7348.  The  auditors  were  paid  $2.00  per  day, 
and  the  constables  were  paid  $1.00  per  day,  but  no  mileage,  for 
attending  court. 

The  first  record  of  a  conveyance  was  a  recorded  deed  from 
Jacob  Sole,  of  Juniata  Township,  to  Elizabeth  Sole,  of  Millers- 
town,  dated  March  11,  1820,  for  three  acres  of  land  in  Juniata 
Township,  the  consideration  being  $1,00.  The  first  mortgage  re- 
corded was  given  by  Samuel  Stroop.  of  Tyrone  Township  to  John 
Shuman,  of  Greenwood.  The  first  proceedings  in  Orphans'  Court 
was  on  December  4,  1820,  when  Caleb  North,  of  Greenwood,  was 
appointed  guardian  of  Julia  Power,  minor  daughter  of  James 
Power,  late  of  Juniata  Township.  The  first  letters  testamentary 
issued  by  the  register  of  wills  were  those  of  Christian  Seiders,  of 


Buffalo  Township,  on  December  7,  1820,  his  executors  being  David 
and  Samuel  Seiders,  and  his  will  dated  November  26,  1820.  The 
first  will  recorded  was  that  (if  Abraham  Grassel,  dated  September 
26,  1819,  letters  not  briny  issued  thereon  until  January  11,  1821. 


Our    ul    the    first    Board    of    County    Commissioners.      Mr.    Mitchell 

was  born   in    1782  and  was  Commissioner  at   38.      He  died   in    [872, 

over    fifty   years   after   the    county's   beginning. 

The  second  court  was  held  on  the  last  Monday  of  January,  1821, 
and  there  were  nine  suits  on  the  trial  list,  one  of  them  being  Mel- 
choir  Miller  (the  grandfather  of  the  future  governor  of  Minne- 
sota) against  James  Murphy. 

The  first  board  of  county  commissioners  was  composed  of  Rob- 
ert  Mitchell,  Thomas  Adams,  and  Jacob  Huggins. 

The  register  and  recorder's  office  was  removed  to  New  Bloom- 
held  on  March  6,  1827,  and  the  prothonotary,  treasurer's  and 
sheriffs  offices  on  March  12  and  13,  1827.  The  first  court  was 
held  in  New  Bloomfield,  April  2,  1827. 



The  first  justices  of  the  peace  of  the  new  county  were  as  fol- 
lows, the  transcript  being  taken  from  the  Executive  Minutes: 

Friday,  November  17,  1820. 
The  governor  this  day  appointed  and  commissioned  the  following  named 
persons  to  the  office  of  justice  of  the  peace  in  and  for  the  districts  here- 
after mentioned  in  the  county  of  Perry,  that  is  to  say :  David  Bloom, 
Robert  Adams,  and  Jacob  Bargstresser  for  the  district  composed  of  the 
township  of  Toboyne,  in  the  said  county,  lately  district  number  ten,  in  the 
county  of  Cumberland;  Jacob  Fritz,  John  Taylor,  Jacob  Stroop,  William 
Power,  and  Henry  Titzel  for  the  district  composed  of  the  township  of 
Tyrone,  including  the  township  of  Saville,  in  the  said  county  of  Perry, 
lately  district  numbered  eleven,  in  the  county  of  Cumberland;  John  Ogle, 
John  Owen,  and  John  White,  in  and  for  the  district  composed  of  the  town- 
ship of  Rye,  in  the  county  of  Perry,  lately  the  district  numbered  twelve, 
in  the  county  of  Cumberland;  George  Monroe,  Benjamin  Bonsall,  Fred- 
erick Orwan,  and  James  Black  in  and  for  the  township  of  Juniata,  in  the 
said  county  of  Perry,  lately  the  district  numbered  thirteen  in  the  said 
county  of  Cumberland;  Caleb  North,  John  Huggins,  John  Purcell,  Samuel 
Utter,  John  Turner,  Abraham  Adams,  Willian  Linton,  and  Richard  Bard, 
in  and  for.  the  district  composed  of  the  township  of  Greenwood  and  Buf- 
faloe,  in  the  said  county  of  Perry,  lately  the  district  numbered  fourteen, 
in  the  county  of  Cumberland. — Executive  Mmutes,  Volume  Eleven, 
pa<je  254- 

Other  justices  of  the  peace  commissioned  during  the  county's 
very  first  years  were  as  follows : 

1822.  John  Kooken,  Toboyne;  Robert  Thompson,  Buffalo;  Francis 
Gibson,  Tyrone  ;    Thomas  Gallagher,  Liverpool. 

1823.  Andrew  Linn  and  George  Baker,  Saville ;  Frederick  Speck,  Wheat- 

1824.  Joseph  Martin,  Juniata ;  Alexander  Rogers,  Wheatfield ;  George 
Mitchell,  Liverpool. 

1825.  Jacob  Bloom  and  James  R.  Scott,  Toboyne ;  Alexander  Branyan, 

Just  why  Perry  County  was  so  named  has  often  been  asked. 
Why  was  this  name  selected  rather  than  some  other?  It  will  be 
remembered  that  the  battle  of  Lake  Erie  was  one  of  the  greatest 
events  of  the  War  of  18 12,  or  our  Second  War  with  England, 
that  Commodore  Perry  was  the  hero,  and  that  the  war  was  over 
but  six  years  before  the  erection  of  the  county.  But  the  great  out- 
standing reason  was  that  Commodore  Perry  died  on  August  23, 
1 8 19,  at  the  Port  of  Spain,  Island  of  Trinidad,  and  the  news  of 
his  death  had  just  reached  our  shores  in  the  year  of  the  county's 
creation;  and  that  his  death,  like  that  of  Ex-President  Theodore 
Roosevelt  in  1919,  was  the  occasion  of  much  grief,  the  erection  of 
memorials,  etc.  Not  only  was  he  honored  by  the  naming  of  Perry 
County,  Pennsylvania,  in  memory  of  him,  but  counties  elsewhere 
are  so  named.  There  are  Perry  Counties  in  nine  other  states, 
as  follows:  Alabama,  Arkansas,  Illinois,  Indiana,  Kentucky,  Mis- 
sissippi,  Missouri,  Ohio,  and  Tennessee. 


And  so  it  was  named  Perry — after  Commodore  Oliver  Hazard 
Perry,  who  in  1812,  as  a  young  lieutenant,  was  sent  to  take  charge 
of  the  fleet  of  boats  on  Lake  Erie,  who  unfurled  a  blue  flag  bear- 
ing in  white  letters  the  dying  words  of  the  gallant  Lawrence, 
"Don't  give  up  the  ship ;"  who  succeeded  in  overcoming  the 
powerful  British  boats  and  sent  to  General  Harrison  the  famous 
dispatch,  "We  have  met  the  enemy  and  they  are  ours — two  ships, 
two  brigs,  one  schooner  and  one  sloop;"  and  who  saved  the  young 
nation  from  an  enemy's  entrance  over  the  lakes.  He  was  in 
charge  of  the  whole  West  Indian  fleet  as  commodore  at  the  time  of 
his  death. 

A  newspaper  notice  of  the  period,  relating  to  the  death  of  the 
hero  for  whom  the  new  county  of  Perry  was  named,  may  not  be 
inappropriate  here : 

Norfolk,  September  25. 

Died.  On  the  23  of  August,  on  board  the  United  States  schooner,  Non- 
such, at  the  moment  of  her  arrival  at  Port  of  Spain,  in  the  Island  of 
Trinidad,  Commodore  Oliver  Hazard  Perry.  He  was  taken  with  yellow 
fever  on  his  passage  from  the  town  of  Angostura,  and  although  he  was 
attended  by  two  able  physicians,  he  was  reduced  to  the  greatest  extremity 
on  the  fourth  day  of  his  illness.  Sensible  to  his  approaching  dissolution, 
he  called  his  officers  together,  and  communicated  his  last  wishes.  His  re- 
mains were  interred  at  Port  of  Spain,  on  the  24th  of  August  with  naval 
and  military  honors. 

Pennsylvania  counties  have  been  named  under  probably  eight 
distinct  classes,  as  follows :  First,  after  English  shires  or  counties ; 
second,  from  Indian  derivation  ;  third,  of  sentimental  suggestion  ; 
fourth,  geological,  geographical  or  faunal  titles;  fifth,  topographi- 
cally; sixth,  of  local  historical  connection;  seventh,  of  political 
significance;  eighth,  in  honor  of  patriots,  etc.  It  is  the  last  named 
and  largest  class  which  includes  Perry. 

A  story,  in  connection  with  the  locating  of  the  temporary  county 
seat  at  Landisburg,  which  is  persistent,  coming  from  a  dozen 
widely  separated  sources,  and  always  the  same,  is,  it  is  believed, 
worthy  a  place  here.  The  reader  may  pass  judgment  upon  it.  On 
all  occasions  the  scorner  turns  up,  but  when  this  one  turned  up 
Perry  Countians  were  in  no  humor  to  be  ridiculed,  having  just 
came  into  their  own  after  the  opposition  of  Carlisle  citizens,  espe- 
cially. The  new  county  had  just  been  created  and  the  first  court 
was  to  be  held  in  an  improvised  courthouse  in  Landisburg.  A 
number  of  young  men  from  Carlisle  came  over  and  one  of  them 
kept  up  a  continual  interrogation,  "Where's  the  town  clock?" 
This  angered  a  man  named  Power,  and  strangely  enough  Power 
was  the  next  man  to  whom  he  put  the  question.  A  brawny  arm 
shot  out  and  the  inquirer  went  down,  but  true  to  the  species,  he 
retorted,  "There  it  is;   it  struck  one." 



Strange  as  it  may  seem,  within  two  years  after  the  separation 
of  Terry  County  from  "Mother  Cumberland,"  there  were  peti- 
tions out  for  their  merging,  and  strangest  of  all,  the  plan  advo- 
cated was  to  annex  Cumberland  to  Perry.  A  copy  of  the  petitions 
was  printed  in  the  Perry  Forester,  Perry  County's  first  paper,  on 
l'YI unary  7,  1822.     It  follows: 


"To  the  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives  of  the  Commonwealth  of 
Pennsylvania,  in  General  Assembly  met.    Sheweth: 

"That  on  account  of  the  great  dissatisfaction  which  prevails  in  the  bor- 
ough of  Carlisle,  and  the  surrounding  country,  by  reason  that  they  have 
been  separated  from  the  county  of  Perry,  and  which  has  much  increased 
our  taxes,  and  not  only  this,  but  our  once  thrifty  and  flourishing  old  bor- 
ough of  Carlisle,  has  become  delirious  and  inconsolable  on  account  of  the 
separation — and  further,  as  we  would  prefer  the  name  of  Perry  to  that  of 
Cumberland,  because  the  latter  savors  something  of  royalty,  being  taken 
from  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  in  England,  which  your  petitioners  deem  to 
be  repugnant  to  the  principles  of  our  republican  government;  we  there- 
for pray  your  honorable  bodies  to  pass  a  law  annexing  Cumberland  to 
Perry  County,  and  that  the  seat  of  Justice  may  be  located  at  Landisburg. 

"And  your  petitioners  in  duty  bound  will  pray,  &c." 

When  the  new  county  of  Perry  was  formed  the  keepers  of  tav- 
erns, as  they  were  then  known,  were  holding  licenses  granted  by 
the  Cumberland  County  court.  Accordingly  the  first  licenses 
granted  in  Perry  County  were  in  1821.  From  the  Divisions  of 
Records  at  the  State  Capitol  a  copy  of  the  return  to  the  state  is 
made.     It  follows: 

A  list  of  the  tavern  keepers  of  Perry  County  to  whom  licenses  have 
been  granted  by  the  Court  of  General  Quarter  Sessions  of  the  Peace  for 
said  county,  at  January  and  April  terms,  1821,  and  for  which  licenses  have 
been  delivered  to  William  Power,  Esqr.,  Treasurer  of  Perry  County,  viz  : 

At  January  Sessions,  1821. 
David    Pfautz,   John    Woodburn,    George    Eckerd,    John    Flurie,    Henry 
Zimmerman,  Anthony  Brandt. 

At  April  Sessions,  1S21. 

Andrew  Tressler,  John  Foose,  Thomas  Craighead,  Jr.,  Michael  Sypher, 
John  Hippie. 

Henry  Lightner,  John  Strawbridge,  Gilbert  Moon,  Henry  Long,  John 
Dunkelberger,  Thomas  Paul. 

Christian  Hippie,  Peter  Wolf,  John  Miller,  Peter  Musselman,  Frederick 
Rinehart,  Henry  Landis,  George  Wilt. 

Benjamin  Leas,  James  Baird,  Peter  Shively,  John  Snell,  Daniel  Gallatin, 
Jonathan  Harmon. 

Frederick  Smiley,  George  Billow,  John  Neiper,  John  Rice. 
County  of  Perry,  S.S. 

I,  Henry  Miller,  Esquire,  Clerk  of  the  Court  of  General  Quarter  Ses- 
sions of  the  Peace,  held  at  Landisburg  for  the  County  of  Perry, -do  hereby 
certify  that  the  within  is  a  true  statement  of  the  tavern  keepers  of  Perry 
County  licensed  by  the  Court  at  the  January  and  April  sessions,  1821,  and 


that  thirty-four  licenses  have  accordinglj  been  delivered  to  William  Power, 
F.sqr.,   Treasurer   of    Perry    County. 

In  testimony  whereof  I  have  hereunto  set  my  hand  and 
affixed  the  Seal  of  said  Court  this  fifteenth  day  of  May, 
(Seal)  in  the  year  of  our  Lord,  one  thousand,  eight  hundred  and 

twenty-one.  Henry  Millkk, 

Clerk  of  the   Quarter  Sessions. 
To   James  Duncan  Esq.,  Auditor 
General  of  the  Commonwealth  of 
I  'ennsylvania. 

The  following  is  the  first  return  from  the  new  county  of  Perry 
tti  the  State  Treasurer,  being  copied  from  the  original  document 
in  the  Bureau  of  Records  at  the  State  Capitol : 

Wm.   Powers,  Esq.,  Treasurer  of  Perry  County  in  account  with  the  State 

of  Pennsylvania. 

Dr.  With  amount  of  eight  licenses  to  retail  foreign  merchandise 
and  liquors  to  the  following  persons,  viz:  to  Robert  H. 
McClelland,  Henry  Fetter,  Abraham  Fulweiler,  George 
Tharp,  Henry  Walters,  Philip  Bosserman,  Edward  Purcell, 

Isaiah  Clark,  at  fifteen  dollars  each cash  $120.00 

With  amount  of  ten  licenses  to  retailers  of  foreign  merchan- 
dise only  to  the  following  persons,  viz:  to  Thomas  Coch- 
ran, David  Moreland,  William  Irwin,  Nathan  Van  Fossen, 
Daniel  Okeson,  Thomas  Gaulagher,  John  Rice.  Anthony 
Black,   Robert   Welch,   Peter   Beaver,   at   ten   dollars   each, 

cash     100 . 00 

Cr.     With  treasurer's  commission,  $217.75,  at  five  per  cent,     $10.88 
With  amount  paid  constables  for  making  returns  of 
eighteen     retailers    of     foreign     merchandise     and 
liquors  at  \2l/>z  each 2.25 

$220 . 00 


Balance  due  stale $206.87 

Settled  and  entered  at  the  Auditor  General's  office, 
December  14,   1821. 

First  Records  of  tiik  Commissioners'  Office. 

*The  first  minute  book  of  the  commissioners  of  Perry  County,  which, 
according  to  the  inside  of  the  cover,  cost  $3.75,  has  the  following  inscribed 
on  page  t : 

" Landisburg ,  Oct.  26th,  1820. 
"Agreeably  to  previous  arrangements  Thomas  Adams,  Jacob 
Huggins  &  Robert  Mitchell,  Esquires,  duly  elected  Commis- 
sioners for  the  County  of  Perry  met  at  the  house  of  Michael 
Sypher  and  after  having  taken  and  subscribed  the  oaths  of 
office  required  by  the  Constitution  and  laws  of  the  Common- 
wealth of  Pennsylvania, 

lor  the  interesting  data  from  this  first  minute  book  of  the  first  Board 
of  Count_\  Commissioners  we  are  indebted  to  Walter  W.  Rice,  attorney- 
at-law.   New    Bloomfield,  Pa. 



"Appointed  Jesse  Miller  Clerk  to  their  Board  for  the  term 
of  one  year  and  agreed  to  allow  him  Forty  eight  dollars  pr. 

"Oct.  27th. 

"'Commissioners  met.     A    full  Board. 

"Agreed  with  Jacob  Albert  for  him  to  make  the  necessary 
seals  for  the  different  county  offices  at  seven  dollars  per  seal 
to  be  delivered  on  or  before  the   1st  of  Dec.  next. 

"Oct.  28th. 
"Commissioners   met.     A   full  Board. 

"Appointed  William   Power,  Esqr.,  Treasurer   for  one  year 
(commission  2  per  cent  for  all  monies  by  him  rec'd  and  paid 
_     out  according  to  law)." 

This  old  minute  book  further  shows  that,  on  Nov.  6  and  7,  1820,  Messrs. 
Huggins  and  Mitchell,  Commissioners,  "attended  at  Carlisle  for  the  pur- 
pose of  obtaining  the  original  assessments  of  1820  to  get  them  tran- 
scribed, and  that,  on  Nov.  8,  1820,  Mr.  Mitchell,  having  obtained  the  said 
assessments  together  with  a  transcript  of  the  Treasurer's  book  of  Cum- 
berland County  for  the  monies  paid  by  the  collectors  of  Perry  County, 
returned  to  Landisburg  and  met  Mr.  Adams.  These  two  met  on  the  9th, 
10th,  nth  and  12th  of  Nov.,  1820,  and  on  the  21st  "a  full  Board"  met  and 
agreed  with  George  Dunbar  "for  the  making  of  a  bench  for  the  Judges 
of  the  Court  &  a  counsel  table."  On  Nov.  24th,  1820,  the  Board  met  for 
the  purpose  of  "selecting  jurors  and  comparing  assessments."  On  that 
day  the  first  order  on  the  county  treasury  was  granted  to  Robert  Mitchell 
for  $28.00  for  pay  as  Commissioner  from  Oct.  26th,  1820,  to  Nov.  24th, 
1820.  On  Nov.  25th,  1820,  the  Commissioners  bought  of  William  Power 
"6  candlesticks  &  3  pair  snufiiers  for  $4.00,"  which  were  paid  for  by  order 
No.  41  given  on  Feb.  2d,  182 1.  On  Dec.  4th,  1820,  order  No.  2  was  given 
to  James  Beatty  "for  $26.90  pay  of  the  election  officers  of  Juniata  District 
for  holding  2  elections  in  1820."  In  the  first  part  of  the  minute  book  the 
words  "order  given"  were  used,  but  later  on  "O.  G."  indicates  that  pay- 
ment was  ordered.  On  Dec.  5th,  1820,  order  No.  4  was  given  to  David 
Grove,  return  judge  for  Toboyne  Township,  for  $25.20  "pay  of  election 
officers  of  said  District  for  holding  2  elections  in  1820."  On  the  same  date 
an  order  was  given  to  Alexander  Magee,  for  $12.00  "for  a  transcribing 
docket  to  transfer  suits  from  Cumberland  County  to  Perry  County."  On 
Dec.  6th,  1820,  orders  for  $20.00  and  $26.00  were  given  to  Thomas  Adams 
and  Jacob  Huggins  respectively  for  their  pay  as  Commissioners  from 
Oct.  26th,  1820,  to  Dec.  6th,  1820,  "both  days  inclusive."  These  bills  of 
the  Commissioners  evidently  included  their  expenses,  as  no  bills  were 
presented  for  expenses.  On  Dec.  8th,  1820,  orders  were  granted  to  Jacob 
Albert  for  $49.00  for  seven  seals  for  the  county  offices,  George  Dunbar 
for  $9.00  for  carpenter  work  and  Andrew  Martin  $9.75  for  making  chairs. 
Robert  McCoy  was  paid  $50.00  for  transcribing  into  a  docket  for  the 
Court  of  Common  Pleas  of  Perry  County  the  record  of  the  suits  in  the 
Cumberland  County  Court  between  persons  residing  in  Perry  County. 
On  Jan.  30th,  1821,  John  Diven  was  paid  $12.00  for  making  a  jury  wheel. 
and  Alexander  C.  Martin  was  paid  $2.58  "for  the  tuition  of  paupers  as 
per  acct."  The  witnesses  were  paid  50  cents  per  day  and  3  cents  per  mile 
circular.    An  ink  stand  was  bought  from  Samuel  A.  Anderson  for  31  cents. 

On  Feb.  2d,  1821,  Abraham  Fulweiler  was  paid  $106.87  for  stoves,  pipes. 
etc.,  and  William  Power  $6.45  for  candlesticks,  wood,  etc. 

On  Feb.  17th,  1821,  the  Commissioners  met  to  lay  the  tax  for  1821,  and 
apportioning  the  rates  on  the  different  townships.     Messrs.   Huggins  and 


Mitchell  held  appeals  on  April  16th,  1821,  at  Clark's  Ferry,  on  the  17th 
at  Montgomery's  Ferry,  on  the  18th  at  Capt.  Frederick  Rinehart's  for 
Greenwood  Township,  on  the  19th  at  the  Blue  Ball  for  Juniata  Township, 
and  all  three  Commissioners  held  appeals  on  the  20th  at  Ickesburg  for 
Saville  Township,  on  the  21st  at  Zimmerman's  tavern  for  Toboyne  Town- 
ship, and  on  the  23d  at  their  office  for  Tyrone  Township.  On  the  latter 
day  they  paid  Robert  Kelly,  Teacher,  $5.91  for  tuition  of  paupers  in  Sa- 
ville Township.  On  the  24th  they  paid  William  Charters  20  cents  for 
candles.  On  April  30th,  1821,  they  paid  John  Jones  $12.00  for  a  wolf 
scalp,  and  on  May  1st,  they  paid  William  B.  Mitchell  $0.75  for  two  old 
fox  scalps. 

The  records  show  that  the  office  of  tax  collector  was  not  a  very  de- 
sirable one  in  those  days.  Henry  Kline,  the  Collector  selected  for  Tyrone 
Township,  refused  to  serve  and  paid  a  fine  of  $20.00.  Robert  Cree  was 
then  selected;  he  refused,  and  a  suit  was  commenced  against  him  for 
the   fine. 

The  County  Commissioners  in  the  first  few  years  of  the  existence  of  the 
County  received  $1.50  per  day,  and  their  yearly  compensation  averaged 
about  $107.00.  The  Commissioners  now  receive  $1,000.00  and  their  ex- 
penses per  year. 

The  amounts  of  the  tax  duplicates  and  collectors  for  the  year  1821 
were  as  follows  : 

Daniel  Motzer,  Toboyne  Township $1,200.26 

Henry  Kline,  Tyrone  Township 1.575-89 

Nicholas  Ickes,  Saville  Township 692.54 

Philip  Bosserman,  Juniata  Township,   915.22 

Anthony  Kimmel,  Rye  Township,    754-71 

Isaac  Pfoutz,  Greenwood  Township,  863.99 

Henry  Steaphen,  Buffalo  Township,   421 .25 

Total,    $6,423 .86 

A  total  of  the  duplicates   for  the  county  in  1920  was  $62,950.64. 

On  Sept.  7,  1821,  an  order  was  given  to  Jacob  Bishop,  Keeper  of  the 
prison  of  Cumberland  County,  for  $102.15  for  maintaining  5  prisoners  sent 
from  Perry  County.  The  daily  charge  was  20  cents.  Among  the  items 
104  lbs.  beef  at  5  cents  per  lb.  and  8  quarts  of  soap  at  6%  cents  per  quart. 
One  of  the  prisoners  made  45  pairs  of  shoes  in  15  weeks,  and  a  credit  at 
the  rate  of  40  cents  per  pair  was  allowed  for  his  labor. 

The  election  boards  in  those  times  consisted  of  3  judges,  1  inspector  and 
2  clerks. 

On  Oct.  24,  1821,  Jesse  Miller  was  reappointed  Clerk  to  the  Commis- 
sioners and  his  salary  was  increased  to  $100.00  per  annum. 

On  Nov.  3d,  1821,  $10.00  was  paid  for  one  year's  rent  for  the  office  of 
the  Commissioners.  On  Dec.  6,  1821,  $51.50  was  paid  to  Allen  Nesbet 
for  one  year's  rent  for  the  Court  House  and  6  mos.  interest  on  the  first 
semi-annual  payment. 

On  Dec.  7,  1821,  $27.00  was  paid  to  William  McClure,  Deputy  Attorney 
General,  as  his  fees  in  9  criminal  cases. 

On  Dec.  7,  1821,  $5.00  was  paid  to  John  Albert  for  "a  bell  to  call  the 

On  March  12th,  1827,  the  Commissioners  held  their  last  meeting  in  Lan- 
disburg  and  removed  their  offices  to  Bloomfield. 


IN  the  locating  of  its  county  seat  Perry  County  had  almost  as 
much  trouble  as  the  United  States  had  had  just  three  decades 
before,  when  for  a  long  period  Trenton,  New  Jersey,  and  the 
present  site  were  rivals;  when,  in  1789,  the  Commonwealth  of 
Pennsylvania,  in  the  United  States  Senate,  offered  to  deed  ten 
miles  square  around  any  one 
of  seven  towns,  which  in- 
cluded Harrisburg  and  Car- 
lisle, and  when  it  was  pro- 
posed to  select  a  site  on  the 
Susquehanna  instead  of  the 

In  accordance  with  the  pro- 
visions of  the  act  creating  the 
county  Governor  William 
Findlay  was  empowered  to 
appoint  a  commission  of 
three  men  from  without  the 
county  to  select  a  location  for 
the  county  seat.  This  com- 
mission was  appointed  eight 
days  later  and  was  composed  of  William  Beale,  of  Mifflin  County ; 
David  Maclay,  of  Franklin  County,  and  Jacob  Bucher,  of  Dauphin 
County.  The  following  extract  from  the  Executive  Minutes, 
Volume  11,  page  168,  records  the  appointment: 

Thursday,  March  30th,   1820. 

The  Governor  this  day  appointed  and  commissioned  the  following  named 
persons  to  the  offices  annexed  to  their  names,  respectively,  that  is  to  say. 

William  Beale  of  Mifflin  County,  David  Maclay  of  Franklin  County,  and 
Jacob  Bucher  of  Dauphin  County,  to  be  commissioners  to  fix  upon  a 
proper  and  convenient  site  for  a  Court  house,  prison,  and  County  offices, 
within  the  County  of  Perry,  as  near  the  Centre  thereof  as  circumstances 
will  admit,  having  regard  to  the  convenience  of  roads,  territory,  population 
and  the  accommodation  of  the  people  of  the  said  County  generally;  and 
the  said  Commissioners,  or  a  majority  of  them  having  viewed  the  relative 
advantages  of  the  several  situations  contemplated  by  the  people,  were  re- 
quired on  or  before  the  first  day  of  September  next  by  a  written  report 
under  their  hands  or  under  the  hands  of  a  majority  of  them,  to  certify, 
describe  and  limit  the  site,  or  lot  of  land  which  they  shall  choose  for  the 
purpose  aforesaid,  and  to  transmit  the  said  report  to  the  Governor;  and 
to  do  all  other  matters  and  things  required  of  them  in  and  by  an  act  of 

courthouse;  at  new  bloomfii-;ivd. 


the  General  Assembly,  passed  on  the  22c!  day  of  March  last,  entitled,  "An 
Act  erecting  part  of  Cumberland  County  into  a  separate  County  to  be 
called  Perry." 

There  have  been  many  political  fights  in  Perry  County  during 
the  past  century,  but  from  what  can  be  gleaned  from  old  news- 
papers and  records  that  county  seat  fight  eclipsed  them  all.  The 
many  different  locations  proposed  complicated  the  situation. 
Landisburg,  with  a  taste  of  the  dignity  attached  to  the  temporary 
seat  of  justice,  put  up  a  stiff  fight.  An  old  subscription  list  shows 
that  the  citizens  obligated  themselves  for  $1,610.00  to  help  secure 
it.  Cedar  Run  (vicinity  of  Cisna's  Run,  Madison  Township), 
then  in  Toboyne  Township,  raised  the  sum  of  $2,907.00.  There 
was  a  provision  that  the  plot  to  be  used  was  to  be  that  of  Helfen- 
stine  and  Ury  (now  Wm.  H.  Loy's),  who  agreed  to  raise  the 
amount  to  $5,000.00,  on  such  condition. 

Casper  Lupfer  offered  a  free  site  on  his  "plantation"  which  was 
adjoining  the  present  site  of  New  Bloomfield,  later  owned  by  W. 
A.  Sponsler,  then  John  R.  Adams,  and  now  in  the  possession  of 
Robert  E.  McPherson.  Inhabitants  of  Millerstown  and  vicinity 
offered  a  site  in  Raccoon  Valley,  Tttscarora  Township,  opposite 
Millerstown,  owned  by  Henry  Lease.  Other  proposed  locations 
were  Clark's  Ferry  (now  Duncannon),  Reider's  Ferry  (now 
Newport),  George  Barnett's  (the  present  site).  Captain  William 
Powers',  west  of  New  Bloomfield,  Elliottsburg,  and  Douglas' 
place,  near  Green  Park. 

Before  the  matter  was  finally  decided  and  the  present  location 
selected  there  were  four  different  commissions  appointed  to  select 
a  site.  Public  meetings  were  held  at  various  places  over  the  new 
county  and  petitions  gotten  out  protesting  against  different  sites 
and  favoring  others.  The  first  commission,  after  examining  the 
various  sites  offered,  which  required  twelve  days  of  their  time, 
which  shows  that  they  covered  it  pretty  thoroughly,  decided  on  the 
site  on  the  farm  of  William  Powers,  about  two  miles  west  of  New 
Bloomfield.  On  the  hack  of  the  report  are  the  signatures:  David 
Maclay,  W.  Maclay,  Wr.  Beale  and  J.  Bucher.  How  "W.  Maclay" 
came  to  have  an  interest  in  it  records  do  not  tell,  but  he  was  not 
on  the  original  appointment.  Their  first  meeting  was  in  June, 
[820,  and  they  made  their  report  August  26,  1820.  Millerstown 
held  a  meeting,  December  2,  and  resolved  "that  the  commission 
did  its  duty  by  locating  it  at  the  centre  of  the  county." 

Hardly  had  the  report  been  made  public  when  Landisburg,  on 
December  2,  held  a  public  meeting  to  protest.  A  resolution  was 
passed  opposing  the  site  as  a  place  "having  no  intersection  of  roads. 
110  direct  intercourse  with  adjacent  counties — a  strong  point  with 
Landisburg — destitute  of  good  water,  good  mills  or  even  mill  sites." 
Protests    came    from   all    over   the   new   county.      At    the   meeting 



of  the  next  legislature  many  citizens  of  the  county  petitioned  for 
another  commission,  which  was  granted  by  an  act  dated  April  2, 
iSji.  which  required  that  the  new  commission  should  examine 
sites  and  report  before  June  1.  This  commission  was  composed  of 
William  Irwin,  of  Centre  County;  Isaac  Kirk,  of  York  County, 
and  Christian  Ley,  of  Lebanon  County. 

At  times  a  story  has  been  told  of  William  Powers  and  the  com- 
mission digging  a  well  and  getting  no  water,  of  Lowers  and  his 
negro  servant  hauling  water  into  the  well  and  of  the  commission, 
"discouraged,  resolving  to  stop  work  on  the  well."  Nothing  in 
any  record,  in  any  newspaper,  or  used  by  the  opposition  at  the 
time  would  help  to  substantiate  that  story,  and  it  is  one  of  those 
mythical  stories  which  sometimes  gain  considerable  circulation,  but 
which  are  unfounded  and  will  not  stand  when  scrutinized.  Had 
such  been  the  case  the  other  points  seeking  the  location  would  have 
grasped  the  information  quickly  and  utilized  it.  Furthermore,  the 
commission  had  neither  the  authority  nor  the  time  to  go  into  the 
well-digging  business. 

The  following  entry  appears  on  Executive  Minutes  of  the  State, 

Volume  11,  page  359: 

Saturday,  April  28th,  1821. 

Under  the  authority  contained  in  an  Act  of  the  General  Assembly  passed 
the  second  day  of  the  present  month,  entitled,  "A  supplement  to  an  Act 
entitled  'An  Act  erecting  part  of  Cumberland  County  into  a  separate 
County  to  be  called  Perry,' "  the  Governor  this  day  appointed  William 
Irwin,  of  the  County  of  Centre;  Isaac  Kirk,  of  the  County  of  York,  and 
Christian  Ley,  of  the  County  of  Lebanon,  Esquires.  Commissioners  to  re- 
view the  scite  lately  determined  upon  by  the  Commissioners  appointed  in 
pursuance  of  the  original  act  aforesaid,  for  the  seat  of  justice  of  the 
County  of  Perry,  and  if  they,  or  a  majority  of  them  shall  be  of  opinion 
that  the  said  scite  does  not  combine  the  interests  and  advantages  of  the 
inhabitants  of  the  said  County  generally,  then,  and  in  that  case,  they  or  a 
majority  of  them,  are  authorized  and  required  to  select  and  fix  upon  some 
other  scite  for  a  Court  house,  prison,  and  County  offices,  within  the  said 
County  of  Perry,  as  near  the  Centre  thereof  as  circumstances  will  admit. — 
they,  the  said  Commissioners  to  execute  the  said  Commission  according  to 
the  true  intent  and  meaning  of  the  above  recited  Act  of  Assembly,  and  of 
the  ninth  section  of  the  Act  to  which  the  same  is  a  supplement ;  and  to 
make  a  report  to  the  Governor  in  writing,  under  their  respective  hands  and 
seals,  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  June,  next,  certifying,  describing  and 
limiting  the  scite  or  lot  of  ground  which  shall  have  been  chosen  by  them 
as  aforesaid. 

Sites  were  proposed  by  a  committee  of  one  from  each  township, 
lint  in  the  voting  the  result  was  as  follows:  Clark's  Ferry  (now 
Duncannon),  5;  Barnett's,  2;  Landisburg,  9;  county  poor 
farm,  o. 

This  second  commission  located  the  site  at  Reider's  (now  New- 
port ),  which  resulted  in  indignation  meetings  being  held  in  the 
other  sections  of  the  county.  The  fact  that  it  was  seven  miles 
from  the  centre  of  the  county  resulted  in  another  lot  of  petitions 


to  the  Slate  Legislature,  which,  at  the  next  session,  on  March  11, 
[822,  passed  an  act  which  created  the  third  commission,  the  mem- 
bers of  which  were  named  in  the  act. 

On  Friday,  September  14,  1821,  a  meeting  was  held  at  the  home 
of  Captain  William  Powers  to  protest  against  the  site  at  Reider's 
Ferry.    The  delegates  to  this  meeting  were: 

Buffalo. — Col.  Robert  Thompson,  Frazer  Montgomery. 

Juniata. — Wm.  English,  Finlaw  McCown,  John  Kyser. 

Rye. — John  Chisholm,  Abraham  Brunner. 

Saville. — Robert  Hackett,  Andrew  Linn,  Conrad  Rice. 

Toboyne. — Wm.  Anderson,  Robert  Adams,  Col.  John  Urie. 

Tyrone. — Francis  Gibson,  Allen  Nesbit,  Wm.  Wilson. 

This  third  commission  was  composed  of  Moses  Rankin,  of 
York;  James  Hindman,  of  Chester;  Peter  Frailey,  of  Schuylkill; 
David  Fullerton,  of  Franklin,  and  James  Agnew,  of  Bedford. 
They  were  to  report  before  June  1,  1822.  From  Executive  Min- 
utes, Volume  11,  page  527,  is  reproduced  their  official  notification 
from  the  chief  executive: 

Wednesday,  March  27th,  1822. 

A  certified  copy  of  the  Act  of  the  General  Assembly  passed  the  eleventh 
instant  entitled  "A  supplement  to  an  Act  entitled  'An  Act  erecting  part  of 
Cumberland  County  into  a  separate  County  to  be  called  Perry,'  "  was  this 
day  transmitted  by  mail  to  each  of  the  Commissioners  named  therein,  to 
wit :  Moses  Rankin,  of  York  County ;  James  Hindman,  of  Chester 
County;  Peter  Frailey,  of  Schuylkill  County;  David  Fullerton,  of  Frank- 
lin County,  and  James  Agnew,  of  Bedford  County;  who  were  at  the  same 
time  respectively  notified  that  the  Governor  by  virtue  of  the  power  in  the 
said  Act  of  Assembly  given  to  him,  has  fixed  upon  the  seventh  day  of 
May,  and  the  Town  of  Landisburg,  in  the  said  County  of  Perry,  as  the 
time,  and  place  of  meeting  of  the  said  Commissioners. 

This  commission — the  third — decided  upon  Landisburg  as  the 
proper  location.  A  few  days  later,  on  June  5,  citizens  from  the 
five  eastern  townships  held  a  meeting  at  the  home  of  John  Koch, 
which  history  tells  us  was  at  Blue  Ball,  Juniata  Township,  and  ap- 
pointed a  committee  to  draw  up  an  address  to  the  citizens  of  the 
county  on  the  subject.  Frazer  Montgomery,  John  Harper,  and 
William  Waugh  composed  the  committee,  whose  report  recited  at 
length  reasons  why  the  county  seat  should  not  be  located  at  Lan- 
disburg, which  was  within  three  miles  of  the  Cumberland  County 
line,  and  protested  the  unjustness  of  the  location  to  the  county  at 
large.  On  October  16,  1822,  a  meeting  of  the  citizens  of  Juniata 
and  Buffalo  Townships  was  held  at  the  home  of  Meredith  Dar- 
lington to  discuss  the  merits  and  demerits  of  the  various  proposed 
sites.  Of  this  meeting  there  is  some  record;  Francis  McCowen 
was  the  chairman  and  William  Power,  Jr..  secretary.  Resolutions 
were' passed  proposing  the  site  first  selected  on  the  Power  farm, 
west  of  New  Bloomfield.  This  site,  we  are  told,  is  at  the  exact 
centre  of  the  county. 


Thai  weapon  of  every  canst',  the  petition,  was  again  brought  into 
being  and  stated  that  three  different  commissions  had  been  ap- 
pointed under  acts  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  the  last  com- 
mission having  moved  the  location  to  Landisburg,  a  place  which 
is  within  three  miles  of  the  Cumberland  County  line  and  a  dis- 
tance of  thirty-four  miles  from  the  eastern  settlement.  The  •pro- 
posed place  for  its  location  on  the  Power  farm  is  named  as  the 
admitted  centre  of  territory  and  population  as  near  as  circum- 
stances will  admit. 

On  November  16,  1822,  a  public  meeting  of  protest  was  held  at 
the  home  of  John  Fritz,  at  the  Bark  tavern,  in  Rye  Township  (now 
Centre,  near  New  Bloomfield),  for  the  purpose  of  electing  dele- 
gates and  recommending  or  requesting  the  citizens  of  the  other 
townships  to  do  likewise,  such  delegates — two  from  each  township 
— to  meet  at  the  home  of  John  Fritz  on  December  10,  1822,  to 
designate  a  place  for  the  location  of  the  county  seat,  and  draft  a 
petition  accordingly.  No  record  of  the  meeting  is  handed  down  to 
posterity,  yet  it  evidently  was  held,  for  on  December  23,  1822, 
Mr.  Mitchell,  a  member  of  the  legislature,  presented  to  the  House 
twenty-one  petitions,  signed  by  eight  hundred  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  county,  praying  that  the  seat  of  justice  for  the  new  county 
be  fixed  at  the  point  suggested  by  the  first  commission.  The  mem- 
ber of  the  General  Assembly  from  Perry  County  at  that  time  was 
not  Mr.  Mitchell,  but  F.  M.  Wadsworth,  and  again  history  fails 
to  tell  us  why  the  petitions  was  not  presented  by  him.  The  com- 
mission having  fixed  the  site  at  Landisburg,  as  far  as  they  were 
concerned,  reported,  and  an  act  for  the  confirmation  thereof  came 
before  the  House  on  Monday,  February  24,  1823,  and  after  con- 
siderable discussion  passed  first  reading.  It  came  up  on  Tuesday 
for  second  reading,  and  a  Mr.  Todd  proposed  a  substitute  for  the 
act,  naming  Barnett's  farm  instead  of  Landisburg.  On  a  vote  this 
proposition  for  the  Barnett  farm  was  defeated  fifty-six  to  thirty. 
The  bill  was  killed  in  the  Senate  by  a  proposition  to  create  another 

The  fourth  commission  was  appointed  by  Governor  Joseph 
Heister,  in  accordance  with  an  act  passed  March  31,  1823,  being 
composed  of  the  following  men :  Joseph  Huston,  of  Fayette  ;  Ab- 
ner  Leacock,  of  Beaver;  Cromwell  Pearce,  of  Chester;  Henry 
Sheete,  of  Montgomery,  and  Dr.  Phineas  Jenks,  of  Bucks.  The 
first  stated  meeting  of  this  commission  was  to  be  at  the  home  of 
Meredith  Darlington,  on  Wednesday,  May  28,  1823,  but  the 
weather  being  stormy,  they  postponed  business  until  Friday.  On 
that  day  they  met  at  Landisburg  and  decided  to  ignore  all  three 
of  the  sites  previously  chosen.  Then,  on  Monday,  June  2,  1823, 
they  decided  to  locate  the  county  seat  on  the  farm  of  George  Bar- 



nett,  in  Juniata  (now  Centre)  Township,  within  about  two  miles 
of  the  Powers  location,  the  one  named  by  the  first  commission. 

They  reported,  and  in  January,  1824,  the  act  was  introduced  in 
the  legislature,  when  Jacob  Huggins,  then  the  member  of  the  Gen- 
eral Assembly  from  Perry  County,  presented  nine  petitions  for 
confirmation  of  this  site  and  nine  petitions  for  the  site  at  Landis- 
burg.  On  February  5,  1824,  he  again  presented  petitions,  which 
shows  that  those  early  Perry  Countians  had  contracted  the  petition 
habit.  On  this  occasion  there  were  nine  for  the  New  Bloomfield 
(or  Barnett)  site  and  seven  for  Landisburg.  On  February  27  he 
presented  seven  for  Landisburg  and  one  for  New  Bloomfield. 
The  matter  had  now  narrowed  down  to  the  two  sites  and  Mr. 
Huggins  stated  that  he  was  privileged  to  withdraw  the  petitions 
of  Abraham  Reider  and  William  Power. 

The  report  of  this  fourth  commission  is  on  record  in  the  office 
of  the  custodian  of  public  records  at  the  State  Capitol  and  is  repro- 
duced below : 

To  Joseph  Hiester  esquire  Governor  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Penna. 

Sir:  In  compliance  with  an  Act  of  the  Legislature  of  this  State  passed 
the  31st  day  of  March,  1823,  entitled  An  Act  Supplementary  to  an  Act 
entitled  A  Supplement  to  an  Act  entitled  an  act  erecting  a  part  of  Cum- 
berland County  into  a  separate  County  to  be  calld.  Perry  and  in  accord- 
ance with  our  appointment  we  the  undersigned  Commissioners  wiz :  Ab- 
ner  Laycock,  Cromwell  Pearce,  Henry  Sheets  and  Phineas  Jenks,  having 
met  (for  the  purpose  of  carrying  the  requisitions  of  the  said  act  into  ef- 
fect) at  the  house  of  Meredith  Darlington  in  Juniata  Township  on  the 
28th  day  of  May  and  after  taking  the  requisite  oaths  proceeded  to  view 
the  several  sites  contemplated  by  the  people  as  well  as  those  fixed  upon 
by  former  Commissioners. 

And  from  the  view  we  have  taken  of  the  territorial  bounds  of  said 
County,  the  relative  situation  of  its  inhabitants,  convenience  of  roads, 
waters  etc.  we  are  of  opinion  that  neither  of  the  sites  fixed  upon  by 
former  Commissioners  are  calculated  to  combine  the  interests  or  render 
that  satisfaction  and  accommodation  to  the  Citizens  of  said  County  con- 
templated by  the  law  under  which  we  act. 

Therefore  we  have  after  due  deliberation  unanimously  agreed,  and 
have  located  a  site  for  the  seat  of  Justice  of  Perry  County  on  the  farm 
of  George  Barnett  in  Juniata  Township  described  and  bounded  as  follows, 
viz :  Beginning  at  a  Post  in  the  field  west  of  the  barn  South  68  degrees 
West  9  perches  &  two  tenths  from  a  wild  Cherry  tree  then  from  said  post 
South  64  degrees  West  34.2  perches  to  a  post  thence  North  26  degrees 
West  41  perches  to  a  post  thence  North  64  degrees  East  34.2  perches  to  a 
post  thence  South  26  degrees  East  41  perches  to  the  place  of  beginning, 
which  lot  or  parcell  of  ground  as  above  described  we  do  hereby  adjudge 
and  confirm  as  far  as  our  power  extends  as  laid  down  by  said  act  to  be 
the  proper  site  to  erect  the  Court  house,  prison  and  County  offices  of  said 
County  of  Perry  upon,  and  as  such  make  report  and  return  the  same  to 
the  Governor  as  we  are  by  law  directed. 

Given  under  our  Hands  this  second  day  of  June  An  dom  1823. 

A.  Lacock.  Henrv   Scheetz. 

Cromwell  Pearce.      Phs.  Jenks. 


Apropo  of  the  local  ion  having  been  finally  determined  the  fol- 
lowing documents,  in  the  possession  (if  the  Barnett  sisters,  of  New 
Bloomfield,  may  be  of  interest: 

"30th  of  May,   1823. 

"Know  all  men  by  these  presents,  that  I,  George  Barnett,  of  Jnniata 
township,  in  the  county  of  Perry,  do  bind  myself,  my  heirs,  executors,  or 
administrators  to  give  as  a  donation  for  the  use  of  Perry  County,  five 
acres  of  Land  in  Case  the  Seat  of  Justice  be  Located  on  my  farm,  but 
none  of  the  principal  springs  to  be  included  in  said  five  acres,  but  is  hereby 
Reserved  for  the  use  of  the  Town  &  I  will  also  Give  five  acres  of  wood- 
land for  the  use  of  the  County  of  Perry."  Geo.  Barxktt. 

Present,  Jeremiah  Madden. 

A  copy  of  the  original  petition  used  in  order  to  have  the  present 
location  chosen  is  also  reproduced,  the  signatures  being  omitted. 
It  follows : 

"May,  1823. 

"To  Joseph  Huston  &  others,  Esquires,  Commissioners  appointed  by  an 
act  of  the  General  Assembly  passed  the  31st  day  of  March,  one  thousand, 
Eight  Hundred  and  twenty  three  to  fix  and  locate  the  Seat  of  Justice  in 
Perry  County. 

"The  Petition  of  the  Citizens  of  said  County  Humbly  Sheweth, 

"Whereas  the  Seat  of  Justice  has  been  located  by  three  different  set  of 
Viewers  in  said  County  but  not  to  the  Satisfaction  of  a  Majority  of  the 
Inhabitants  of  our  County  we  therefore  Humbly  set  fourth  and  Represent 
the  Plantation  of  Mr.  George  Barnett  in  our  County  it  being  the  most 
Centerable  scite  for  the  Seat  of  Justice  accommodated  with  Roads  from 
the  four  quarters  of  the  County  and  a  Variety  of  never  failing  springs  in 
a  wholesome  Pleasant  situation.  We  are  of  opinion  had  the  seat  of  Jus- 
tice in  our  County  been  located  on  the  above  said  Plantation  by  any  of 
the  former  Viewers  the  Contest  now  would  be  at  an  end — and  if  fixed 
there  now  it  would  have  the  same  Effect. 

"We  therefore  Pray  to  take  the  above  into  Consideration  &  your  Peti- 
tioners will  Ever  Pray,  &c." 

On  April  12,  1824,  George  Barnett  conveyed  to  the  commission- 
ers of  Perry  County  eight  acres  and  one  hundred  and  thirty-six 
perches  of  land  which  was  selected  as  the  county  seat  site  by  the 
commission  appointed  under  the  Act  of  March  31,  1823.  The  deed 
bears  the  date  of  April  12,  1824. 

A  century  has  rolled  around  ;  the  gig,  the  phaeton  and  all  of 
their  kind  have  been  superseded  by  the  automobile  for  trips  of  any 
length  and,  after  all  the  phases  of  the  contest  have  been  settled, 
the  experience  of  a  century  shows  that  in  the  final  conclusion  'twas 
well  done,  and  to-day  an  automobile  from  one  etid  of  the  county 
can  reach  the  seat  of  justice  as  quickly  as  from  the  other. 

In  1849  and  again  about  1886  movements  were  begun  in  efforts 
towards  having  the  county  seat  removed  to  Newport,  but  with  no 
success.  The  movement  inaugurated  in  1849  went  so  far  as  to 
have  a  bill  introduced  into  the  legislature  changing  the  county  seat, 
but  it  was  reported  negatively  and  died,  and  with  it  the  attendant 
agitation.     The  later  movement,  while  resulting  in  nothing  in  so 


far  as  the  changing  of  the  county  seat  was  concerned,  was  the 
beginning  of  the  movements  which  resulted  in  two  railroads,  the 
Perry  County  and  the  Newport  &  Sherman's  Valley,  being  built 
into  western   Perry  County. 

Three  other  near-by  Pennsylvania  counties,  Mifflin,  Adams,  and 
Franklin,  each  had  three  commissions  before  the  sites  of  their 
seats  of  justice  were  finally  determined,  but  Terry  County  required 
the  fourth. 

With  the  final  conclusion  of  the  locution  of  the  seat  of  justice 
"on  George  Barnett's  farm"  the  officials  of  the  new  county  gol 
busy  to  comply  with  the  sections  of  the  act  creating  it,  one  ot 
which — Section  "10 — authorized  the  county  commissioners  to  ac- 
cept title  to  the  site  selected  and  to  "assess,  levy  and  collect  money 
to  build  a  courthouse  and  prison."  As  these  matters  could  not  be 
done  in  a  short  time  the  act — Section  16 — provided  that  "all  pris- 
oners of  Perry  County  shall  be  kept  in  the  Cumberland  County 
jail  for  the  term  of  three  years,  or  until  the  commissioners  of 
Perry  County  shall  have  certified  to  the  court  that  a  jail  is  erected 
and  approved  by  the  court  and  grand  jury."  Then,  on  May  17, 
1824,  the  commissioners  of  the  new  county  of  Perry  advertised 
that  twenty-five  lots  on  the  public  ground  recently  conveyed  to  the 
county  by  George  Barnett  would  be  sold  at  "public  vendue"  on 
Wednesday,  June  23,  1824.  By  referring  to  the  chapter  in  this 
book  relating  to  "Bloomfield  Borough,  the  County  Seat,"  the 
reader  may  learn  something  of  the  sales  of  these  first  lots,  also  of 
the  taking  up  of  this  plot  of  land  by  the  pioneers. 

Three  sales  of  lots  were  held  to  dispose  of  the  lands  donated  by 
I  *eorge  Barnett  to  the  county  of  Perry.  The  first  was  on  June  23, 
[824,  and  Robert  Elliott,  Samuel  Linn,  and  John  Maxwell,  the 
commissioners,  sold  lots  to  the  value  of  $1,913,  one-third  of  which 
was  payable  in  cash  on  August  3d,  and  one-third  annually  for  the 
two  succeeding  years.  On  September  14,  1826,  a  second  sale  was 
held  by  Robert  Mitchell,  Abraham  Bower,  and  Abraham  Adams, 
then  commissioners,  and  lots  disposed  of  to  the  amount  of  $594- 
The  third  sale  was  on  June  28,  1828,  when  Abraham  Bower,  John 
'  >wen,  and  George  Mitchell,  the  board  of  commissioners,  sold  a 
single  lot  for  the  original  price,  $200,  on  which  the  former  bidder 
had  paid  §$2  and  then  defaulted.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  the 
county  not  only  received  the  ground  for  its  public  buildings,  but 
also  $2,539.00  from  the  sales  of  lots.  In  addition  $267.50  was 
subscribed  and  paid  in  cash  into  the  treasury  of  the  new  county. 

The  contract  for  the  jail  was  first  let.  On  July  7,  1824,  the 
county  commissioners,  Robert  Elliott,  Samuel  Linn,  and  John 
Maxwell,  advertised  for  proposals  for  erecting  a  stone  jail,  the 
dimensions  of  which  were  to  be  32x50  feet,  two  stories  high,  with 
walls  two  and  one-half  feet  in  thickness.     The  lower  floor  was  to 



have  four  rooms  and  the  tipper  one  six.  John  Rice  was  the  con-' 
tractor,  the  cost  to  he  $2,400.  but  its  final  cost  proved  to  be  $2,600. 
The  few  prisoners  from  the  new  county  were  transferred  back 
from  Cumberland  on  its  completion.  John  Hippie  was  awarded 
the  contract  on  October  1,  1827,  to  build  a  stone  wall  enclosing  the 
jail  yard  at  a  cost  of  $950,  which  he  completed  the  following  year. 
This  original  jail,  with  slight  alterations  and  improvements  served 
the  use  of  the  county  for  the  remainder  of  the  century.  On  April 
4,  1902,  bids  were  received  for  the  erection  of  a  new  brick  jail, 
not  to  be  enclosed  by  the  ancient  high  wall,  in  which  was  also  to 
be  the  residence  of  the  sheriff.  Dean  &  Havens,  contractors,  re- 
ceived the  contract  at  $26,000,  but  changes  in  the  plans  increased 
its  cost  to  over  $30,000.  It  was  occupied  January  1,  1903.  It  is 
modern  in  every  respect,  it  is  said,  but  not  greatly  needed  in  Perry 
County.  On  many  occasions  there  have  not  been  any  prisoners 
within  its  walls,  and  the  average  population  is  less  than  two  persons. 

At  the  election  of  1824  Robert  Mitchell  and  Abraham  Bower 
succeeded  John  Maxwell  and  Robert  Elliott  on  the  board  of  com- 
missioners, the  other  member  being  Samuel  Linn.  On  April  11, 
1825,  they  advertised  that  they  would  receive  proposals  until  Au- 
gust 30th  for  the  erection  of  a  new  brick  courthouse,  forty-five 
feet  square.  In  September  the  contract  was  awarded  to  John 
Rice  for  $2,975,  but  later  the  height  of  the  walls  was  increased 
and  a  cupola  added  to  the  contract.  The  building  was  completed 
in  1826  at  a  cost  of  $4,240.  The  courthouse  then  erected  was  in 
use  until  1868,  when  the  grand  jury  authorized  the  county  com- 
missioners to  make  any  alterations  and  additions  that  might  be 
necessary  for  the  increasing  business  of  the  county,  then  about  to 
enter  its  second  half-century  of  existence.  It  was  considerably 
enlarged  and  modernized  and  including  the  cost  of  the  clock  tower 
cost  a  trifle  over  $25,000,  the  citizens  of  the  town  donating  ap- 
proximately $300  towards  purchasing  the  clock.  While  these 
alterations  were  being  done  the  county  offices  were  installed  in  the 
basement  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  and  the  sessions  of  court 
were  held  in  the  old  Methodist  Church  on  High  Street.  A  new 
addition  was  erected  in  1892  to  the  north  end  of  the  building  at  a 
cost  of  about  $20,000.  In  it  are  the  offices  of  the  register  and 
recorded  and  prothonotary,  on  the  first  floor,  and  the  jury  rooms 
and  the  law  library  on  the  second  floor. 

The  removal  of  the  public  documents  from  Landisburg  to 
Bloomfield  took  place  on  March   12  and  13th,   1827. 


THE  story  of  the  settlement  of  Perry  County  territory  is 
also  the  story  of  the  first  road  westward  over  the  Allegheny 
Mountains  to  the  Ohio,  which  was  then  the  "Far  West." 
The  travel  on  streams  was  by  canoe,  and  on  land,  following  the 
trails  made  by  the  Indians  through  the  forests,  first  on  foot,  the 
original  manner  of  travel;  later  on  horseback,  and  with  the  ad- 
vent of  roads,  in  carriages  and  wagons.  These  Indian  trails  were 
generally  direct,  reaching  the  gaps  in  the  mountains  and  following 
streams,  when  the  route  was  not  too  circuitous.  The  continual  use 
of  given  routes,  even  afoot,  soon  created  paths,  which  the  Indians 
termed  trails,  and  which  often  later  became  pack  horse  paths,  then 
roads  or  highways,  some  even  becoming  main  highways  or  turn- 
pikes. Some  were  narrow  and  never  became  utilized  for  vehicles, 
but  were  used  by  the  pioneer  circuit  rider,  who  came  after  the  In- 
dians had  departed,  and  by  the  pioneers  before  roads  became  gen- 
eral. These  were  then  known  as  bridle  paths  and  some  of  them 
are  yet  distinguishable.  One  such  is  over  the  end  of  Bowers' 
Mountain,  near  Cisna's  Run,  and  another  around  the  foot  of  Mt. 
Dempsey,  opposite  Landisburg,  in  Sheaffer's  Valley,  and  not  far 
from  Sherman's  Creek.  Both  are  known  to  the  oldest  residents 
of  these  localities  from  their  earliest  recollections. 

One  of  these  old  Indian  trails  led  from  New  York  State,  south- 
west across  Pennsylvania,  to  the  Potomac,  contiguous  to  Perry 
County  soil,  through  present  Juniata  County.  It  was  known  as 
the  Tuscarora  Path,  hence  the  names  of  two  of  the  valleys  through 
which  it  passed,  Tuscarora  and  A////.  Its  proximity  to  the  county 
territory  is  largely  responsible  for  the  seeming  ease  with  which  the 
Indian  warriors  reached  here  even  from  remote  points  to  wield 
the  tomahawk  and  scalping  knife. 

The  through  trail  to  the  West,  as  far  as  the  Ohio,  first  known 
as  the  "Allegheny  Path,"  led  through  Croghan's  (now  Sterrett's) 

♦In  discussing  the  inception  of  this  volume  with  Prof.  H.  H.  Shenk, 
custodian  of  public  records  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania,  to 
whom  we  are  indebted  for  many  suggestions  and  much  encouragement,  he 
remarked  that  the  history  of  roads  and  highways  was  very  much  neglected, 
a  fact  which  has  proven  true,  in  so  far  as  Perry  County  is  concerned  at 
least.  An  effort  has  been  made  to  record  the  earlier  roads  with  partial 
success.  Following  the  first  Indian  trails  in  the  province,  roads  or  high- 
ways were  laid  out,  the  main  ones  being  at  first  known  as  "The  King's 
Highways,"  for  the  pioneers  had  not  yet  arrived  at  the  point  where  free- 
dom was  even  considered. 



('..-i]).  across  what  is  now  Perry  County,  over  Tuscarora  Mountain, 
through  Shade  Ciap,  Black  Log,  Aughwiek,  Frankstown.  and  Hol- 
lidaysburg,  crossing  the  Allegheny  Mountains  at  or  near  Kittan- 
ning  Point.  It  was  the  great  highway  to  the  West  and  was  used 
by  George  Croghan,  Andrew  Montour,  Conrad  Weiser  and  other 
traders,  interpreters  and  government  representatives  as  far  back 
as  records  arc  available.  It  was  in  general  use  by  traders  in  1740 
and  succeeding  years.  It  was  then  an  old  Indian  trail  and  it  was 
but  natural  for  these  men  to  use  it.  It  became  known  as  the 
"Traders'  Path"  and  as  "The  Horseway."  It  descended  in  turn 
to  the  pioneers,  but  they  were  men  of  vision  and  soon  regular 
roads  were  laid  out  and  built. 

Watson's  Annals  tells  of  a  Mrs.  Murphy,  who  died  at  the  age 
of  100,  in  1803,  and  who  remembered  "that  the  first  'Indian  track' 
to  go  westward  was  across  Simpson's  Ferry,  four  miles  below 
Harris',  then  across  the  Conodoguinet  at  Middlesex,  then  up  the 
Kittatinny  Mountain  across  Croghan's  -(Sterrett's)  Gap,  thence 
down  the  mountain  and  across  Sherman's  Creek  at  Gibson's,  thence 
by  Dick's  Gap,  thence  by  Sherman's  Valley,  by  Concord,  to  the 
burnt  cabins,  thence  to  the  west  of  the  Allegheny." 

The  route  westward  varied  at  points,  or  rather,  at  some  places 
there  were  several  routes,  but  this  oldest  of  routes  over  Perry 
Count v's  domain,  was  likely  the  main  trail  to  which  these  other 
routes  led. 

John  Harris,  who  had  been  westward  in  1748,  left  a  diary  which 
mentions  the  following  points  with  intermediate  distances: 

"From  my  ferry  to  George  Croghan's,  5  miles;  to  Kittatinny  Mountain, 
o;  to  Andrew  Montour's,  5;  to  Tuscarora  Hill,  9  (Conococheague,  Moun- 
tain is  intended)  ;  to  *Thomas  Mitchell's  sleeping  place,  3;  to  Tuscarora, 
14;  to  Cove  Spring,  10;  Shadow  of  Death,  8;  Black  Log,  3;  66  miles  to 
this    point." 

"Starting  at  Black  Log,  to  Aughwiek,  6;  Jack  Armstrong's  Narrows 
(so  called  from  his  being  murdered  there),  8;  to  Standing  Stone  (about 
14  feet  high  and  6  inches  square),  10;    total,  24  miles." 

The  "standing  stone"  referred  to  is  where  Huntingdon  is  now 
located.  There  was  a  route  from  Croghan's  via  Robert  Dun- 
ning's  and  McAllister's  Gap,  west  of  Perry  County,  to  Path  Val- 
ley, but  six  miles  of  it  through  the  gap  were  at  the  bottom  of  a 
chasm,  over  a  bed  of  stones  and  rocks,  which  the  waters  of  ages 
had  washed  bare,  and  the  descent  into  Path  Valley  was  very  steep 
and  stony  for  an  additional  mile,  so  that  the  route  over  the  Perry 

*Thomas  Mitchell's  sleeping  place  was  in  that  part  of  Madison  Town- 
ship known  as  Liberty  Valley.  It  is  mentioned  by  John  Harris,  in  his 
table  of  distances  from  Harrisburg  to  Logstown,  in  1754,  and  by  Conrad 
Weiser.  Mitchell  was  an  Indian  trader  as  early  as  1848  and  is  supposed 
to  have  made  a  shelter  at  this  point. 


County  territory  became  the  popular  one.  This  old  path,  known  as 
the  Allegheny  Path,  the  Traders'  Path,  etc.,  came  through  Cro- 
ghan's  (now  Sterrett's)  Gap.  followed  the  south  side  of  Sherman's 
Creek  to  a  point  west  of  Gibson's  Rock,  where  it  crossed  to  the 
north,  continuing  westward  to  where  Montour's  Run  joined  the 
creek;  from  there  it  passed  onward  by  Fort  Robinson,  crossing 
the  Conococheague  Mountain's  end  near  the  present  Sandy  Hill 
road,  past  Thomas  Mitchell's  sleeping  place  (the  old  Meminger 
place),  in  Liberty  Valley,  via  Bigham's  Gap  to  the  Tuscarora  Val- 
ley. A  tradition  has  the  path  crossing  the  Conococheague  at  a 
point  between  Andersonburg  and  Blain,  but  the  late  Prof.  J.  R. 
Flickinger,  himself  a  resident  of  the  immediate  vicinity,  wrote  "it 
seems  improbable  that  a  crossing  so  difficult  would  be  selected, 
when  nature  had  provided  an  easier  passage  at  a  point  almost  as 
direct."  The  sleeping  places  mentioned  at  various  places  were 
usually  either  hollow  logs,  bark  or  sapling  huts  or  abandoned  In- 
dian shacks,  and  no  record  remains  as  to  the  nature  of  the  "Thomas 
Mitchell  sleeping  place."  It  likely  took  its  name  from  the  fact  that 
he  either  improvised  it  or  that  he  was  the  first  one  known  to  use  it. 
A  deed  on  record  in  the  Perry  County  courhouse.  executed  in 
181 1,  mentions  the  Meminger  place  as  the  location  of  "Mitchell's 
Sleeping  Place."  Thomas  Mitchell  was  an  unlicensed  trader  in 
1747.  and  in  the  minutes  of  the  Provincial  Counsel  for  November 
15,  1753,  is  mentioned  as  a  man  of  no  character.  Authorities 
differ  as  to  the  route,  as  the  following  paragraph  shows. 

In  describing  this  old  Indian  trail  across  the  county  Prof.  A.  L. 
Guss,  the  historian,  says :  "The  path  by  way  of  Bigham's  Gap  is 
largely  misunderstood.  Liberty  Valley  was  an  impregnable  thicket 
of  laurel  and  spruce.  No  early  trader  or  adventurer  passed  through 
it.  It  took  much  and  hard  labor  to  make  a  path  through  it.  The 
west  Tuscarora  and  the  Conococheague  Mountains  form  an  anti- 
clinal axis,  with  Horse  Valley  scooped  out  of  the  crest.  Just 
where  they  begin  to  separate  the  broadened  mountain  has  ravines 
on  each  side,  and  it  was  along  these  ravines  that  the  early  path  led 
over  the  mountains.  The  old  'traders'  road'  passed  up  a  ravine 
north  of  Andersonburg  and  came  down  a  ravine  at  Mohler's  tan- 
nery, in  Liberty  Valley,  and  crossed  directly  over  the  depressed 
end  of  the  Tuscarora  Mountain  by  Bigham's  Gap." 

It  was  contended  by  the  province  at  the  treaty  of  Albany  in 
1754  and  admitted  by  the  Indians  (the  Six  Nations)  that  "the  road 
to  Ohio  is  no  new  road  ;  it  is  an  old,  frequented  road;  the  Shaw- 
nees  and  Delawares  removed  thither  about  thirty  years  ago  from 
Pennsylvania,  ever  since  which  that  road  has  been  traveled  by  our 
traders  at  their  invitation,  and  always  with  safety  until  within  these 
few  years."  The  reader  will  note  that  it  was  then  already  called 
an  "old,  frequented  road." 


That  the  first  official  journey  of  a  representative  from  the  colo- 
nics bordering  the  Atlantic  seaboard  to  the  lands  west  of  the  Alle- 
ghenies — that  mighty  empire  of  the  West — was  made  over  this  old 
Allegheny  Path,  through  the  territory  now  comprising  Perry 
County,  is  an  historical  fact.  That  notable  journey  of  Conrad 
Weiser  at  the  instance  of  the  English  colonies  in  1748  was  the  occa- 
sion. Of  course  there  were  other  trails  to  the  West,  but  this  was 
at  that  time  the  principal  one.  "There  were  later  three  great  In- 
dian paths  from  the  East  to  the  West  through  western  Pennsyl- 
vania," says  Thwaite's  "Early  Western  Travels."  "The  southern 
led  from  Fort  Cumberland,  on  the  Potomac,  westward  through 
the  valleys  of  Youghiogheny  and  Monongahela,  to  the  forks  of 
the  Ohio,  and  was  the  route  taken  by  Washington  in  1753,  later 
by  Braddock's  expedition,  and  was  substantially  the  line  of  the 
great  Cumberland  National  Road  of  the  early  Nineteenth  Century. 
The  central  trail,  passing  through  Carlisle,  Shippensburg,  and  Bed- 
ford, over  Laurel  Mountain,  through  Fort  Ligonier,  over  Chest- 
nut Ridge  to  *Shannopin's  town,  at  the  forks  of  the  Ohio,  was 
the  most  direct  and  became  the  basis  of  General  Forbes'  road  and 
later  the  Pennsylvania  wagon  road  to  the  Ohio.  But  the  older,  or 
Kittatinny  Trail,  was  the  oldest  and  most  used  by  the  Indian 
traders.  It  was  this  route  that  Conrad  Weiser  followed.  From 
Croghan's  (in  East  Pennsboro  Township,  Cumberland  County) 
he  passed  over  into  the  valley  of  Sherman's  Creek  (now  in  Perry 
County),  crossing  Sterrett's  Gap  and  the  Tuscarora  Mountains  via 
.Standing  Stone  (now  Huntingdon).  There  was  also  a  fourth 
trail,  still  farther  north,  by  way  of  Sunbury  and  the  West  Branch 
to  Venango." 

Of  the  place  where  the  Kittatinny  Trail,  more  generally  known 
as  the  Allegheny  Path,  crossed  the  Allegheny  Mountains,  Jones, 
in  his  History  of  the  Juniata  Valley  (1889)  says:  "It  is  still  visible 
in  some  places  where  the  ground  was  marshy,  close  to  the  run  ;  the 
path  is  at  least  twelve  inches  deep  and  the  very  stones  along  the 
road  bear  the  marks  of  the  iron-shod  horses  of  the  Indian  traders." 
As  late  as  1796  Carlisle  was  an  important  point  for  the  starting  of 
pack  horse  trains  for  Pittsburgh  and  the  Ohio  region. 

There  are  records  to  show  that  this  old  Allegheny  Trail  was 
taken  by  the  northern  section  of  Liuet.  Col.  John  Armstrong  in 
his  expedition  against  the  Indians  at  Kittanning  in  1756.  They 
show  that  the  expedition  left  Carlisle  in  August,  Colonel  Arm- 
strong being  personally  in  charge,  "going  via  Sherman's  Valley." 
At  Fort  Shirley  .additional   recruits  were  received. 

*Shannopin's  town  was  named  after  a  chief  of  that  name,  who  died  in 
1749.  It  was  situated  on  the  Allegheny  River  where  the  present  city  of 
Pittsburgh  stands. 


When  the  English  and  French  rivalry  for  the  possession  of 
America  came  to  its  inevitable  end — war — Conrad  Weiser,  an 
agent  for  the  provincial  government,  was  sent  to  the  Ohio  for  the 
purpose  of  conciliating  the  Indians,  as  was  the  custom,  with  valu- 
able presents.  At  the  same  time  his  duties  were  not  unlike  those 
of  a  spy.  He  was  to  ascertain  their  strength,  location,  mood  and 
prestige,  and  at  the  same  time  learn  the  objects  of  the  French. 
With  the  party  on  this  trip  was  a  son  of  Benjamin  Franklin, 
George  Croghan,  and  Andrew  Montour,  and  there  is  record  of 
their  using  this  route  over  Perry  County  soil. 

When  there  was  pressing  need  of  military  operations  against  the 
French  on  the  Ohio,  in  1754,  and  ways  and  means  were  under 
consideration,  there  was  no  other  highway ;  and  Governor  Morris 
described  it  as  "only  a  horseway  through  the  woods  and  over  the 
mountains,  not  passable  with  any  carriage."  Travel  was  not  di- 
verted from  this  road  or  trail  until  a  year  later,  1755,  when  the 
southern  route  was  made,  over  the  Alleghenies  via  the  route  which 
is  to-day  known  as  the  Lincoln  Highway,  in  order  to  enable  Brad- 
dock  and  his  army  to  march  against  Fort  Duquesne.  In  May  of 
that  year  the  province  agreed  to  send  three  hundred  men,  in  order 
to  cut  a  wagon  road  from  Fort  Loudon,  Franklin  County,  to  join 
Braddock's  Road  near  the  "turkey  foot,"  three  miles  from  the 
forks  of  the  Youghiogheny. 

In  the  introductory  remarks  in  the  chapter  relating  to  churches, 
there  is  an  account  of  a  Presbyterian  missionary,  Rev.  Charles 
Beatty,  passing  over  this  route  in  1766.  It  was  then  only  an  In- 
dian trail  over  which  the  pioneers  had  entered  the  county's  terri- 
tory. However,  it  became  the  first  road  to  be  laid  out  in  the  new 
purchase  covered  by  the  Albany  treaty.  In  1761  the  Cumberland 
County  court  ordered  it  laid  out  as  a  public  highway  between  Car- 
lisle and  Sherman's  Valley.  Viewers  appointed  by  the  court  rec- 
ommended that  the  road  be  opened  "through  the  lands  of  Francis 
West  (vicinity  of  the  Gibson  mill)  and  others,  from  Carlisle, 
across  the  mountain,  and  through  Sherman's  Valley,  to  Alexander 
Logan's,  and  from  thence  to  the  gap  in  the  Tuscarora  Mountain, 
leading  to  Aughwick  and  Juniata,  as  the  nearest  and  best  way 
from  the  head  of  Sherman's  Valley  to  Carlisle."  The  removal  of 
the  timber  was  about  all  that  was  required  in  making  a  roadway  in 
those  days. 

This  old  Allegheny  Path  should  be  taken  over  in  its  entirely  by 
the  State  Highway  Department,  if  for  no  other  reason  than  that 
it  was  the  first  roadway  to  the  West,  but  another  great  reason  is 
that  a  good  road  is  needed,  not  only  by  the  public  but  by  the  state, 
whose  reserve — the  Tuscarora  Forest — it  passes  through.  There 
are,  only  certain  small  links  which  need  to  be  improved.  From 
Carlisle  to  a  locality  known  as  Dromgold  there  is  already  a  state 


mad.  The  stretches  from  Dromgold  to  Landisburg,  from  a  mile 
wesl  of  Landisburg  to  Loysville,  and  from  the  Waggoner  Mill 
bridge,  via  Fort  Robinson,  Kistler  and  Walsingham,  to  Honey 
Grove,  in  Juniata.  County,  is  all  that  requires  to  be  taken  over.  A 
fair  road  already  exists  over  these  stretches,  but  there  is  no  reason 
why  the  entire  old  Allegheny  Path  should  not  be  kept  up  at  state 
expense.  Representative  Clark  Bower  introduced  a  bill  to  that 
effect  in  the  legislature  of  1920-21,  but  it  failed.  That  bill  should 
be  introduced  at  each  and  every  session  until  the  great  common- 
wealth, in  a  way,  perpetuates  the  first  great  highway  to  the  West. 
There  were  trails  along  the  Juniata  and  Susquehanna  Rivers,  en- 
tering the  county  above  Duncan's  and  Haldeman's  Islands,  the  lat- 
ter going  into  the  Susquehanna  country  and  New  York  State  and 
known  as  the  Susquehanna  Trail,  and  the  former  being  of  a  local 
nature,  as  the  traffic  from  Harris'  Ferry  westward  preferred  the 
more  direct  line  across  present  Perry  County,  via  Black  Log  and 
Aughwick.  Hardy,  in  "The  Wilderness  Trail,"  says  another  traders' 
path  north  of  the  Juniata  was  joined  by  the  Shamokin  Path  near 
what  is  now  Mifflintown,  and  was  crossed  by  the  Tuscarora  Path 
near  present  Port  Royal,  Pennsylvania.  He  also  says:  "One 
branch  may  have  led  directly  up  the  river  from  the  Shawnee  towns 
on  Big  Island  (now  Haldeman  Island),  and  on  the  mainland,  oppo- 
site, at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata;  if  so  the  first  stage  may  have 
been  by  canoes,  as  the  river,  from  the  island  to  what  is  now  New- 
port, is  hemmed  in  in  some  places  by  mountains."  Tradition  dif- 
fers from  that  statement  and  we  are  inclined  to  be  with  tradition 
in  this  case.  The  Indians  had  a  fording,  known  as  "Queenashawa- 
kee,"  where  Clark's  Run  enters  the  Susquehanna  in  Duncannon 
Borough,  and  there  was  a  trail  from  there  through  the  hills  via  the 
old  Dick's  Gap  Church,  to  below  the  present  location  of  Newport, 
which  was  four  miles  shorter  than  the  river  route,  and  it  was  but 
natural  for  the  Indian  to  take  the  shorter  route.  That  there  was  a 
trail  over  this  route  is  proven  by  the  fact  that  the  church  was 
located  along  the  old  trail  and  that  the  first  stage  line  likewise  fol- 
lowed the  trail.  Furthermore,  the  average  Indians  hardly  found 
canoes  available  for  "through  traffic." 

Further  on  in  "The  Wilderness  Trail"  is  this  reference  to  a 
branch  of  the  Allegheny  Path  which  connected  with  the  Susque- 
hanna Trail  :  "Bishop  Cameroff,  who  traveled  along  the  east  bank 
of  the  Susquehanna  from  Paxtang  to  Shamokin  in  the  winter  of 
1748,  notes  in  his  journal  that  after  crossing  to  the  north  side  of 
Wiconisco  Creek,  near  its  mouth,  on  January  12th,  he  came  to  a 
bouse  a  short  distance  beyond,  where  he  halted.  Here  his  host 
informed  him  that  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Susquehanna,  opposite 
to  his  home,  'began  the  great  path  to  the  Allegheny  country,  esti- 


mated  to  be  three  or  four  hundred  miles  distant.'  This  must  have 
been  in  what  is  now  Buffalo  Township,  Perry  County." 

The  inception  of  the  first  road  to  what  is  now  Juniata  and  Mif- 
flin Counties  dates  to  1767,  when  a  petition  was  presented  to  the 
Cumberland  County  court  to  open  a  road  from  Sherman's  Valley 
to  the  ECishacoquillas  Valley.  In  May,  1768,  viewers  reported  in 
favor  of  "a  carriage  road  from  the  Sherman's  Valley  road,  be- 
ginning two  and  three-quarter  miles  from  Croghan's  (now  Ster- 
rett's)  Gap,  running  through  Rye  Township  and  across  the  Juniata 
River  at  the  mouth  of  Sugar  Run,  into  Fermanagh  (now  Green- 
wood) Township,  and  thence  through  the  same  and  Derry  Town- 
ship, up  the  north  side  of  the  Juniata  into  the  Kishacoquillas  Val- 
ley." This  road  was  the  first  to  be  built  into  these  two  counties. 
There  was  also  a  petition  during  the  same  year  for  a  road  from 
Baskins'  Ferry  on  the  Susquehanna  to  Andrew  Stephens'  Ferry 
on  the  Juniata. 

At  the  January  term  of  court  in  1771  a  petition  was  presented 
asking  that  a  road  be  opened  from  James  Gallagher's,  on  the 
Juniata  River,  to  William  Patterson's,  thence  to  James  Baskins' 
Ferry,  on  the  Juniata  River.  At  the  April  term  of  court  of  the 
same  year  the  request  of  the  petitioners  was  granted  and  it  was 
ordered  opened  as  a  "bridle  path."  At  the  same  term  of  court  a 
petition  was  presented  asking  for  a  road  from  William  Patterson's 
mill,  on  Cocolamus  Creek,  to  Middle  Creek.  This  was  probably 
intended  to  extend  to  Middleburg,  Snyder  County, 

James  Gallagher's  was  near  where  Thompsontown  is  now  lo- 
cated, and  William  Patterson's  at  Cocolamus  Creek,  below  Millers- 
town.     Baskins'  Ferry  was  at  the  north  end  of  Duncannon. 

Then  came  the  American  Revolution  and  road  building  was 
farthest  from  the  thoughts  of  men.  Their  whole  thought  was  of 
liberty  and  the  preservation  of  that  freedom  which  had  caused 
them  to  brave  the  dangers  of  crossing  the  sea.  During  the  pro- 
vincial days  when  the  proprietary  government  was  in  power  slow 
progress  was  made  with  the  building  of  roads,  but  when  the  change 
was  made  from  province  to  colony  improvements  began.  In  1787 
a  commission  was  appointed  to  survey  a  road  to  connect  the 
Frankstown  branch  of  the  Juniata  with  the  Conemaugh  at  Johns- 
town. A  year  later  it  was  contracted  for,  and  in  1790  completed. 
Another  Frankstown  road  was  authorized  in  1792,  south  of  the 
previous  one.  In  1788,  at  the  January  term  of  the  Cumberland 
County  courts  a  road  was  recommended  to  be  laid  out  from 
the  Reed  Ferry  on  the  Susquehanna,  to  Boston  Shade's  mill,  on 
Cocolamus  Creek.  There  was  an  act  passed  April  13,  1791,  which 
is  known  as  the  Improvement  Act.  It  granted  £300  for  the  im- 
provement of  a  road  from  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata  to  David  Mil- 
ler's (now  Millerstown)  on  the  Juniata,  through  Dick's  Gap. 


There  was  a  road  from  Carlisle  to  Sunbury  at  a  very  early  date. 
On  February  3,  1794,  William  Long  warranted  400  acres  of  land 
located  in  what  is  now  Spring  Township,  which  is  described  as 
"adjoining  lands  on  the  west  this  day  granted  to  John  Long,  and 
on  the  north  by  lands  now  in  the  possession  of  John  Caven,  and 
to  join  the  great  road  leading  from  Carlisle  to  Sunbury."  This 
"great  road"  passed  through  Long's  Gap  over  the  Blue  Mountain. 
It  was  originally  a  pack  horse  route  or  bridle  path  from  the  South 
to  the  Susquehanna  River,  thence  along  to  Sunbury. 

In  1803,  at  the  August  term  of  court  held  at  Carlisle,  a  petition 
was  presented,  requesting  the  erection  of  a  bridge  across  Cocolamus 
Creek,  on  the  post  road  from  Harrisburg  to  Lewistown,  near  the 
junction  of  the  creek  with  the  Juniata  River.  This  road  was 
washed  out  by  a  flood,  but  its  location  was  between  the  present 
road  and  the  old  canal  bed,  where  the  Patterson  mill  was  located. 
Until  recently  there  were  traces  of  it.  This  old  petition  set  forth 
that  during  winter  this  road  was  almost  impassable,  by  reason  of 
backwater  from  the  river  and  ice  blocking  the  fording.  While  it 
is  here  named  as  "the  post-road"  yet  the  fact  remains  that  the 
Juniata  Mail  Stage  Company  did  not  begin  operations  until  1808, 
but  the  mails  were  carried  over  the  route  on  horseback  as  early 
as   1798. 

When  the  first  through  route  was  made  through  the  Juniata  Val- 
ley to  Pittsburgh,  now  known  as  the  "Old  State  Road,"  it  did  not 
take  the  river  route  from  Clark's  Ferry  to  Newport,  but  followed 
the  old  Indian  trail  via  Pine  Grove,  in  what  is  now  Miller  Town- 
ship, where  Woodburn's  tavern,  an  old  and  well-known  road  house, 
was  located.  Later  this  part  of  the  route  was  abandoned  and  it 
followed  the  river  bank. 

In  the  fall  of  1806  petitions  favoring  a  turnpike  along  the  Juni- 
ata were  in  circulation.  On  March  4,  1807,  the  State  Legislature 
enacted  a  law  to  incorporate  a  company  for  building  a  turnpike 
from  Harrisburg  via  Lewistown  and  Huntingdon,  to  Pittsburgh. 
This  turnpike,  which  has  been  known  by  various  names,  frequently 
as  the  Allegheny  pike,  entered  Perry  County  at  the  head  of  Dun- 
can's Island  and  ran  west  along  the  Juniata  through  Millerstown. 
For  many  years  this  was  a  turnpike,  then  it  relapsed  into  the  town- 
ship road  class,  and  in  1889,  the  Johnstown  flood  year,  the  high 
water  washed  out  a  section  of  five  miles  in  Watts  Township,  which 
remains  vacated  to  this  day,  by  an  order  of  the  Perry  County 
court,  the  township  claiming  it  as  a  too  expensive  piece  of  road 
to  keep  in  order.  As  this  route  is  now  a  part  of  the  William  Penn 
Highway  an  effort  is  under  way  to  have  the  state  rebuild  it,  which 
should  be  done. 

The  first  section,  from  Harrisburg  west,  was  not  built  until 
[822,  however.    By  an  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  dated 


in  March,  1821,  two  turnpike  companies  were  chartered,  the  Ilar- 
risburg  &  Millerstown  Turnpike  Company  and  the  Millerstown  & 
Lewistown  Turnpike  Company.  The  location  of  two  of  the  toll- 
gates  were  at  the  Miller  pottery,  in  Howe  Township,  and  at  a 
point  above  Millerstown,  known  as  "the  burnt  house."  The  lower 
company  in  1825  had  as  commissioners:  George  Mann,  of  Cum- 
berland County,  and  the  following-  Perry  Countians:  John  Fry, 
Robert  Clark.  Cadwallader  Jones,  Peter  Stingle,  Robert  Mitchell, 
John  Rider,  Francis  Beelen,  Joseph  Power,  Thomas  Power,  and 
Caleb  North.  Among"  the  fourteen  commissioners  of  the  Millers- 
town &  Lewistown  Company  were  James  Freeland  and  Abram 
Addams.  Mr.  Addams,  whose  eldest  daughter  became  the  mother 
of  Governor  James  A.  Beaver,  was  an  influential  man  in  the  com- 
munity and  the  new  county  and  took  a  great  interest  in  turnpike 
affairs.  The  turnpike  was  completed  in  1825  and  the  subscription 
books  opened  at  Millerstown.  It  was  in  use  until  1857,  when  the 
county  authorities  took  charge,  the  turnpike  companies  having 
abandoned  it  owing  to  the  building  of  the  canal  and  railroad,  which 
took  away  the  principal  part  of  the  traffic. 

The  Harrisburg  &  Millerstown  Turnpike  Company,  with  a  pike 
of  twenty-six  miles,  had  $25,000  individual  subscriptions  and  a 
state  grant  of  $40,000,  and  the  Millerstown  &  Lewistown  Turn- 
pike Company  had  $70,000  individual  subscriptions  and  a  grant 
of  $39,500  from  the  state.  Shares  were  $50,  and  the  average  cost 
per  mile  about  $2,000. 

Before  the  advent  of  the  canal  and  railroad  the  overland  traffic 
was  largely  done  with  large  covered  wagons,  known  as  Conestoga 
wagons,  by  reason  of  their  being  built  at  Lancaster,  on  the  banks 
of  the  Conestoga.  These  wagons,  usually  with  a  tar  can  hanging 
beneath,  had  four-inch  tires  and  were  often  drawn  by  six  or 
eight  horses  or  mules,  with  jingling  bells  attached  to  the  names. 
Queerly  enough  the  drivers  of  these  wagons  fastened  the  name 
upon  a  present-day  tobacco  product.  They  liked  to  smoke  to  while 
away  the  time,  and  at  Pittsburgh  there  was  a  great  demand  for  a 
cigar  which  would  smoke  for  a  long  period.  As  the  demand  came 
from  these  drivers  of  Conestoga  wagons  a  cigarmaker  rolled  a 
long  cigar,  which  he  could  sell  at  a  low  price — four  for  a  cent — 
and  named  it  the  "Conestoga."  The  product  immediately  became 
popular,  but  the  word  was  too  long  and  became  Americanized  as 
"stogies,"  and  sometimes  mistakenly  called  "tobies."  To  accom- 
modate these  drivers  and  their  teams,  road  houses  sprang  up  along 
the  turnpike  at  approximately  every  ten  or  twelve  miles.  There 
are  records  which  tell  of  a  dozen  or  more  large  Conestoga  wagons, 
with  six  or  eight  horses  each,  waiting  to  be  ferried  at  Clark's 
Ferry,  the  western  end  of  which  was  then  at  Clark's  Run,  near  the 


centre  of  present-day  Duncannon.  The  ferry  house,  or  road  house, 
still  stands  and  is  occupied  by  Joseph  Smith  as  a  dwelling. 

As  an  example  of  what  was  done  over  the  old  mud  roads,  be- 
fore the  building  of  the  turnpikes,  in  1817,  twelve  thousand  wagons 
passed  over  the  Allegheny  Mountains  to  Baltimore  and  Philadel- 
phia, each  with  four  or  six  horses.,  and  carrying  a  load  of  from 
3,500  to  4,000  pounds.  The  cost  from  Pittsburgh  to  Philadelphia 
was  $7  to  $10  per  hundredweight.  About  1885  the  rate  over  the 
Pennsylvania  Railroad  was  three-fourths  of  a  cent  per  mile  for 
each  ton,  or  about  $2.60. 

When  the  turnpike  was  built  through  the  county  in  the  territory 
which  now  comprises  Howe  Township,  one  of  the  smallest  town- 
ships in  the  county,  inns  or  taverns  were  opened,  known  as  Fahter's 
Falls  tavern,  Fetterman's  tavern,  and  Red  Hill  tavern.  The  latter 
became  a  famous  stopping  place  for  the  picturesque  old  Conestoga 
wagons  on  which  the  traffic  of  the  new  nation  was  largely  trans- 
ported. It  was  later  long  in  the  possession  of  Alfred  Wright. 
Fetterman's  was  in  the  building  now  owned  by  Heister  Moretz, 
along  the  William  Penn  Highway  (now  under  construction)  where 
the  roads  join,  and  Fahter's  Falls  (later  Juniata  Falls)  was  later 
kept  by  John  Patterson,  and  is  now  known  as  the  Lewis  Steckley 

The  late  Thomas  H.  Benton,  in  his  "Thirty  Years  in  the  United 
States  Senate,"  in  discussing  the  establishment  of  the  first  national 
turnpikes,  from  the  Atlantic  seaboard  to  the  Ohio,  says: 

'The  absolute  necessity  for  a  public  highway  from  the  Atlantic 
seaboard  to  the  inland  cities  of  the  republic,  which  were  fast 
springing  into  existence,  in  the  great  West,  were  so  great  that  the 
Whigs  had  no  difficulty  in  procuring  the  necessary  appropriations 
for  the  survey,  location  and  construction  of  a  national  road  from 
tidewater  at  Philadelphia  and  Baltimore  to  the  Ohio." 

An  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  dated  March  29,  181 3, 
authorized  the  appointment  of  commissioners  "to  make  an  arti- 
ficial road  from  Millerstown  to  the  Franklin  County  line,  to  go 
through  McKessonburg,  and  thence  via  Daniel  Sprenkle's." 

The  road  from  Perry  County,  over  the  mountains  to  Concord, 
Franklin  County,  was  built  in  1820.  By  reference  to  the  chapter 
in  this  book  entitled  Postrider  and  Stagecoach,  it  will  be  seen  that 
during  the  second  year  following.  1S22,  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment established  a  mail  route  over  this  new  highway,  from 
Clark's  Ferry   (now  Duncannon)  to  Concord. 

The  McClure's  Cap  road  was  built  in  1S2T.  It  connects  Landis- 
burg  (which  was  then  the  temporary  county  seat)  with  Newville, 
Cumberland  County.  The  following  bond,  etc.,  is  published  here 
as  of  historical  value  and  will  show  the  names  of  the  commissioners 
and  bondsmen,  etc.,  without  further  description.    It  follows: 


Know  all  men  by  these  presents  that  we  James  W.  Allen  of  Frandford 
township,  Cumberland  County  and  State  of  Pennsylvania  and  Benjamin 
Rice  of  Tyrone,  Perry  County  and  same  State  (Commissioners  appointed 
by  an  Act  of  Assembly  for  improving  the  State  for  to  lay  out  open  and 
improve  the  road  over  the  North  mountain  between  Landisburg  and  Ncw- 
ville  at  McClures  Gap,  and  Jacob  Alter  Esquire  of  West  Pennsboro  town- 
ship and  James  Laird  Esquire  of  Frankford  township  in  the  County  of 
Cumberland  aforesaid,  are  held  and  firmly  bound  unto  his  Excellency  Jos- 
eph Hiester  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  in  the  just  and  full  Sum  of  Eight 
hundred  Dollars  money  of  the  United  States:  To  the  which  payment  well 
and  truly  to  be  made  to  the  Said  Joseph  Hiester  or  to  his  legal  Attorney 
or  Successor  in  office,  we  do  hereby  bind  ourselves  our  heirs  executors, 
or  administrators  jointly  Severally,  firmly  by  these  presents:  Sealed  with 
out  Seals  and  dated  the  fifteenth  day  of  May,  one  thousand  Eight  hundred 
and   twenty  one. 

The  CONDITION  of  the  above  obligation  is  Such  that  if  the  above 
bounden  James  W.  Allen  and  Benjamin  Rice  as  commissioners  above 
Stated,  Shall  well  and  truly  apply  Such  monies  as  may  be  put  into  their 
hands  for  the  purpose  of  opening  and  improving  Said  Road  agreeable  to 
the  intent  and  meaning  of  Said  Law  and  Settle  and  adjust  their  accounts 
in  manner  therein  directed,  then  the  above  obligation  to  be  void,  otherwise 
to  remain  in  full  force  and  virtue  in  Law. 

Signed  and  Sealed  in 
presence  of 
Paul  L.  Peirce  James  William  Allen    (Seal) 

John  Dickson  Benjamin   Rice  (Seal) 

William  McCrea  Jacob  Alter  (Seal) 

John  Lefever  James  Laird  (Seal) 

(Indorsed)  28th  May  1821.  The  within  bond,  and  Security  are  approved 
in  open  Court,  by  the  judge  thereof.  John  Reed 

James   Armstrong 
Isa.   Graham. 
Cumberland  County  Vs. 

I  do  Certify  the  above  and  foregoing  to  be  a  true  Copy  of 

the  original  as  the  Same  remains  filed  of  Record  in  the  office 

of  the  Court  of  General  Quarter  Session  of  the  Peace  in  and 

for  Said  County. 

In   witness  whereof  I  have  hereunto  Set  my  hand  and  the  Seal  of  the 

Same  Court  at  Carlisle  the  28th  May  A.  D.   1821. 

J  McGinnis  Jr. 

Clk  C.  Q.  S. 
James  Allen  and  Benjamin  Rice  Commissioners  under  the  71st  Section 
of  the  twenty-sixth  day  of  March  1821  have  received  credit  in  this  Office 
for  four  hundred  dollars  the  amount  expended   for  the  improvement  for 
which  money  was  appropriated  in  and  by  that  Section. 
Auditor  Generals  James  Duncan 

Office  27th  Match,  1823.  Auditor  Genl. 

The  road  from  the  George  Barnett  farm,  on  which  New  Bloom- 
field  is  located,  to  Sterrett's  Gap,  was  laid  out  in  1824.  There  was 
once  a  military  road  to  the  Canadian  frontier  projected  which  was 
to  have  crossed  Perry  County.  From  the  Perry  Forester  of  Sep- 
tember 14,  1826,  we  note  the  fact,  as  follows:  "Major  Long,  of 
the  engineer  department,  passed  through  Bloomfield,  in  this  county, 


on  Thursday  last,  engaged  in  the  duty  assigned  to  him  by  the 
United  States  Government,  of  viewing  a  national  military  road 
from  Washington  to  a  point  on  our  northern  frontier." 

The  Act  of  April  14,  1827,  appointed  Solomon  Bower,  Jacob 
Stambaugh,  Jr.,  and  Robert  Elliot,  of  Perry  County,  and  Abra- 
ham Waggoner  and  John  Hays,  o£  Cumberland  County,  commis- 
sioners to  lay  out  a  state  road  from  Landisburg  to  Carlisle,  by  way 
of  Waggoner's  Gap.  The  Perry  Forester  of  May  24,  1827,  tells 
of  viewers  having  inspected  the  Waggoner  Gap  road  and  found  it 
to  have  a  grade  of  only  four  and  one-half  degrees,  or  one-half  a 
degree  less  than  the  specifications,  which  fixes  the  time  of  the 
building  of  that  road.  In  T829  Nicholas  Ickes,  J.  Kibler,  and  Rob- 
ert Elliott,  of  Perry  County,  and  William  Wharton  and  Henry 
Hackett,  of  Mifflin  County,  were  appointed  commissioners  to  lo- 
cate a  state  road  from  Landisburg,  by  way  of  Ickesburg  and  Run 
Gap,  to  MifHintown.  The  State  Legislature  of  1826-27  provided 
for  the  opening  of  an  additional  state  road  via  Long's  Gap,  which 
was  built  in  1828. 

During  1827  and  1829  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  authorized 
the  opening  of  roads  from  Union  County  to  Liverpool;  from 
Innis,  Huntingdon  County,  to  Landisburg;  from  Lewistown  to 
Shippensburg,  via  New  Germantown  and  Three  Square  Hollow. 
The  state  road  leading  from  a  point  opposite  Harrisburg  to 
Petersburg,  now  Duncannon,  was  opened  in  1829.  The  commis- 
sion who  viewed  the  route  and  located  it  was  composed  of  John 
Clendenin,  A.  Wills,  Alexander  Branyan,  R.  T.  Jacobs  and  Robert 
Clark.  Even  before  its  construction  there  was  a  very  rough  and 
stony  way  along  the  river,  the  last  vestige  of  the  old  Indian  trail. 
Prior  to  the  opening  of  this  state  road  the  main  travel  was  over 
the  mountain,  about  two  miles  from  the  river,  via  Miller's  Gap. 
By  an  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  of  April  19,  1844, 
John  Wily,  Robert  Mitchell,  Jesse  Beaver,  Thomas  Cochran,  and 
Michael  Steever  were  appointed  commissioners  to  lay  out  a  state 
road  from  Reider's  Ferry  (now  Newport)  to  the  wot  end  oi  Mil- 
lerstown  bridge,  by  the  nearest  and  best  route  between  those  points. 
When  Carroll  Township  was  laid  out  in  1843  part  of  the  boundary 
was  described  as  being  "along  the  great  road  leading  to  Clark's 
Ferry,"  which  shows  it  as  a  then  important  highway.  Its  route 
lay  through  Grier's  Point  and  Wheatfield  Township. 

An  Act  of  February  14,  1845.  authorized  the  Perry  County 
commissioners  to  pay  Jackson  Township  $250  to  help  build  a  road 
from  McFarland's  tannery  to  the  Cumberland  County  line,  its 
outlet  in  Cumberland  County  being  at  McCormick's  Mill. 

The  road  across  the  Blue  Mountains  at  Crane's  Gap  was  for- 
merly a  footpath.  In  1848  the  road  was  built,  but  it  is  now  little 
used.    About  a  mile  farther  west  from  Crane's  Gap  is  a  small  gap 



known  as  Sharron's,  after  James  Sharron,  who  warranted  lands 
about  I/69.  There  was  once  a  road  there  also,  but  it  was  vacated 
many  years  ago. 

The  Act  of  April  12,  1855,  appointed  Samuel  O.  Evans  and 
William  Cox,  of  Juniata  County,  and  Jesse  Beaver,  of  Perry,  to 
lay  out  a  road  "from  the  turnpike  gate  east  of  Thompsontown,  in 
Juniata  County,  down  Pfoutz  Valley  to  the  bridge  over  the  Cocola- 
mus  Creek,  in  Perry  County."  An  act  fifteen  days  later,  April 
27th,  appointed  John  P.  Thompson  and  John  M.  Jones,  of  Juniata 
County,  and  Lewis  Gilfillen,  of  Perry  County,  to  lay  out  a  road 
"from  a  point  on  the  public  road  leading  from  Dunn's  Mill  to  Mif- 
llintuwn,  at  or  near  Hibbsfield,  in  the  county  of  Juniata;  thence 
from  a  point  on  road  leading  from  Thompsontown  to  Liverpool, 
on  lands  of  Christian  Coffman,  near  the  bridge  over  the  Cocolamus 
Creek,  in  Perry  County." 

At  the  April  term  of  court  in  1859  viewers  were  either  appointed 
or  reported  in  the  laying  out  of  thirty-four  different  roads.  At 
the  January  term  of  1861  there  were  thirty-three,  with  many  at 
other  courts  during  the  intervening  period  and  shortly  before  and 
thereafter,  which  would  fix  that  as  the  period  when  the  greatest 
road  development  occurred. 

An  Act  of  March  6,  1873,  required  the  county  commissioners 
to  appropriate  $300  towards  the  erection  of  a  bridge  over  the  Big 
Buffalo  Creek,  on  the  road  leading  from  the  tanyard  owned  by 
Rev.  J.  J.  Hamilton,  to  Elliottsburg,  at  Spriggle's  fording. 

That  part  of  the  William  Penn  Highway  directly  opposite  New- 
port occupies  the  old  roadway  which  was  often  the  cause  of  trou- 
ble. The  original  road  led  from  Greenwood  Township,  over  the 
turnpike  across  the  hill,  and  by  Red  Hill  Church,  to  Newport.  An  act 
of  the  legislature  was  passed  March  21,  1865,  authorizing  the  county 
commissioners  to  pay  $500  to  aid  Howe  Township  in  making  a 
road  recently  laid  out,  from  the  east  end  of  the  Newport  bridge 
to  a  point  on  the  Harrisburg  and  Millerstown  turnpike,  at  the  foot 
of  Buffalo  Mountain.  Another  act,  dated  March  20,  1869,  author- 
ized the  county  to  pay  $2,000  more  towards  the  same  road  and  to 
issue  bonds  for  the  amount.  It  named  Lewis  Gilfillen,  Dr.  J.  E. 
Singer,  and  Isaac  Wright  as  commissioners  to  build  it.  There 
was  a  provision  that  as  soon  as  $3,500  was  contributed  the  contract 
was  to  be  let.  Michael  Hartzell  evidently  had  the  contract,  as  an 
act  of  April  24,  1873,  required  that  the  county  commissioners  pay 
him  $1,865  0I  moneys  so  appropriated.  After  the  1889  flood  it 
was  again  impassable,  but  was  finally  rebuilt  largely  by  the  progres- 
sive business  men  of  Newport. 

But  one  new  state  highway  was  granted  by  the  Legislature  of 
1 92.1 -22,  and  that  was  the  one  provided  for  in  a  bill  introduced  by 
Representative  Clark  M.  Bower,  of  Perry  County,  providing  for 


a  new  outlet  from  western  Perry  County.  The  present  road,  de- 
scending into  Path  Valley,  has  a  very  steep  grade  and  is  a  danger- 
ous route,  with  the  result  that  it  was  little  traveled.  The  new 
route  is  really  a  very  old  one,  long  since  abandoned.  It  was  in  use 
by  the  pioneers.  It  leaves  Perry  County  by  circling  Big  Round 
Top  and  drops  into  Franklin  County  by  an  easy  grade  to  Burns' 
Valley  and  the  iron  bridge  near  Doyleshurg,  where  it  joins  route 
45  of  the  highway  system.  It  opens  up  a  route  from  Dry  Run  and 
Concord  which  saves  forty  miles  on  the  trip  to  Harrisburg.  It 
connects  with  the  Lincoln  Highway  at  Fort  Loudon,  and  to  the 
traveler  from  the  Susquehanna  and  lower  Juniata  Valleys  it  means 
a  saving  of  forty  miles  on  a  westward  trip.  It  passes  through  the 
Tuscarora  State  Forest  and  through  a  mountainous  section  un- 
equaled  in  Pennsylvania  for  beauty. 

The  reader  can  readily  realize  the  discomforts  of  travel  in  those 
early  days,  yet  they  had  no  terrors  for  even  a  woman  when  she 
had  the  blood  of  the  brave  coursing  her  veins,  as  the  following  will 
show:  Peter  Hartman,  an  early  settler,  had  married  Elizabeth 
Oelwein,  of  Chester  County,  a  relative  of  Gen.  Anthony  Wayne, 
and  who  had  inherited  the  vigor  and  indomitable  bravery  of  the 
Wayne  family.  In  the  summer  of  1794,  when  her  first  child  was 
but  six  months  old,  she  started  from  Buffalo  Mills  (located  in 
what  is  now  Saville  Township,  Perry  County)  on  horseback  with 
the  baby,  and  traveled  120  miles  to  see  her  relatives  in  Chester 
County,  using  bridle  paths  where  there  were  no  roads.  Being  a 
tactful  woman  she  met  with  kindness  all  along  the  route.  This  was 
a  most  remarkable  journey  in  that  day  and  under  those  circum- 
stances. There  are  many  Perry  Countians  of  to-day  who  can  be 
proud  that  they  have  coursing  in  their  veins  the  same  blood  as 
that  of  that  Revolutionary  hero.  General  Anthony  Wayne. 

In  those  pioneer  days,  Perry  County  territory,  with  the  methods 
of  travel  then  available,  was  as  far  from  Philadelphia  as  the  Mis- 
sissippi Valley  is  to-day,  with  our  really  wonderful  and  speedy 
railroad  trains.  In  fact,  a  letter  will  now  go  from  Philadelphia  to 
Denver,  Colorado,  in  the  same  length  of  time  that  was  then  re- 
quired to  carry  it  from  Philadelphia  to  Carlisle. 

There  being  only  trails  at  first  the  horseback  method  was  the 
only  one  available,  even  for  the  transportation  of  weighty  products. 
Lack  horses,  each  of  which  carried  a  burden  of  about  two  hun- 
dred pounds  over  the  mountains,  were  usually  in  groups  of  fifteen, 
with  two  men  in  charge.  In  passing  along  hills  and  mountainsides 
the  loads  frequently  came  in  contact  with  the  ground.  About  t8oo, 
at  Harris'  Ferry.  \'wq  hundred  horses  were  fed  and  rested  during 
a  single  night,  which  shows  the  extensiveness  of  the  traffic. 

With  roads  came  that  first  vehicle,  known  as  the  "gig,"  and  in 
use  when  the  new  county  of  Perry  came  into  being.     Then  came 


the  carriage,  known  as  the  "Dearborn,"  for  milady,  and  to  be  suc- 
ceeded by  all  varieties  of  carriages  and  buggies  clown  to  the  fash- 
ionable "Jenny  Lind,"  even  to  this  day  in  use.  Our  century,  how- 
ever, has  brought  the  motor  vehicle  into  popular  use,  and  the  auto- 
mobile is  more  common  to-day  than  was  the  good  carriage  of  forty 
wars  ago.  As  early  as  1906  there  were  but  48,000  in  the  entire 
United  States,  but  to-day  (1920)  the  total  approximates  almost 
6,000,000.  In  the  interim  the  bicycle  was  a  popular  vehicle  for 
personal  trips,  enjoyment  and  business  from  about  1890  until  the 
advefit  of  the  automobile,  but  its  use  is  now  chiefly  confined  to 
business  trips  of  a  few  blocks. 

"Pack  Saddle  Path,"  known  to  all  hunters  as  far  back  as  they 
ran  remember,  starts  at  the  lower  end  of  Lew  Run.  in  Tyrone 
Township,  and  crosses  the  Kittatinny  Mountain  to  the  Wagner 
farms  in  North  Middleton  Township,  Cumberland  County.  Evi- 
dently this  run  should  be  called  Lewis  Run,  as  tradition  says  that 
a  colored  slave  named  Lewis  is  buried  near  the  run. 

On  March  24.  1851,  an  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  au- 
thorized the  formation  of  the  Millerstown,  Andersonburg  and 
New  Germantown  Plank  Road  Company.  The  capital  was  to  have 
been  $25  per  share,  and  the  number  of  shares  800.  The  road  was 
to  pass  through  Ickesburg.  The  commissioners  named  in  the  act 
were  Samuel  Black,  Robert  Elliott,  Isaac  Kinter,  Wm.  B.  Ander- 
son, Thomas  Boal,  Andrew  S human,  W.  Blair,  James  Milligan. 
Samuel  Liggett,  Simon  Kell,  James  Irvin,  Jacob  Shnman,  Kirk 
Haines,  T.  P.  Cochran,  Jacob  Bixler,  W.  I.  Jones,  G.  W.  Parsons, 
Wm.  Rice,  Solomon  Bower,  and  George  Black. 

A  plank  road  was  once  projected  from  a  point  upon  the  Penn- 
sylvania Railroad,  via  New  Bloomfield,  to  New  Germantown.  By 
an  act  of  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature,  dated  April  12,  185 1,  the 
Sherman's  Valley  Plank  Road  Company  was  incorporated,  with 
forty-three  stockholders.     Section  1  of  the  act  reads : 

"Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  Henry  Rice,  George  Stroop,  James  Macfar- 
land,  Benjamin  Mclntire,  Jonas  Ickes,  David  Lupfer,  H.  F.  Topley, 
George  Barnett,  Sr.,  John  Campbell,  Conrad  Roth.  Jr.,  John  R.  McClintic. 
George  B.  Arnold,  Finlaw  McCown,  Alex.  B.  Anderson,  A.  C.  Kling,  Wm. 
A.  Sponsler,  John  A.  Baker,  John  B.  Topley,  Samuel  McKnight,  C.  W. 
Fisher,  Lindley  Fisher,  John  Charters,  Joseph  Bailey,  James  Black,  Jacob 
Smith,  Samuel  Leiby,  Joshua  E.  Singer,  John  W.  Bosserman,  John 
Demaree,  John  Beaver,  Wm.  T.  Shively,  Jesse  L.  Gaunt,  George  S. 
Hackett,  Daniel  Gannt,  James  F.  McNeal,  John  Rice,  David  Adams,  Joseph 
McClure,  James  Kay,  John  Ritter,  John  Tressler,  Wm.  B.  Anderson,  and 
Solomon  Bower  be  and  are  hereby  appointed  commissioners  to  open  books, 
receive  subscriptions,  and  organize  a  company  by  the  name  and  style  of 
'The  Sherman's  Valley  Plank  Road  Company,'  with  power  to  construct 
a  plank  road  from  such  point  on  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad  as  a  majority 
in  value  of  the  stockholders  shall  determine,  through  New  Bloomfield,  to 
New  Germantown,   Perry   County,  with  all  the  authorities  and  subject  to 


all  the  provisions  and  restrictions  of  the  act  regulating  turnpike  and  plank 
road  companies,  passed  the  26th  day  of  January,  1849,  and  its  supplements, 
excepting  so  much  thereof  relating  to  tolls  as  discriminates  in  favor  of 
wheels  of  the  width  of  four  inches  and  upwards;  and  the  said  company 
shall  have  power  to  regulate  their  tolls  within  the  limits  prescribed  by 
said  act,  without  reference  to  the  width  of  wheels  in  any  case,  and  ex- 
cepting also  such  other  portions  of  said  act  as  may  be  inconsistent  there- 

The  capital  stock  was  made  550  shares,  the  par  value  of  which 
was  $20.  Privilege  was  given  to  use  any  roacl  then  in  existence, 
save  that  twenty  feet  was  to  be  left  for  the  public  use,  free  of  toll 
as  before,  and  the  proportionate  cost  of  the  part  used  to  be  paid 
for.  The  road  was  never  built.  Many  of  the  older  people  of  the 
present  generation  well  remember  these  men,  some  of  whom  lived 
until  very  recent  years. 

Pennsylvania  has  long  been  noted  for  bad  roads,  but  on  May  31, 
191 1,  a  bill  passed  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  creating  a  State 
Highway  Department,  and  since  that  time  various  bills  have  been 
passed  for  the  rebuilding  of  the  state  highways,  which  have  been 
taken  over  since  the  passage  of  the  original  act.  The  voters  of 
Pennsylvania  at  an  election  in  1919  voted  to  bond  the  state  for 
fifty  millions  to  help  construct  roads.  Through  Perry  County  runs 
two  great  highways  of  the  state  system,  the  William  Perm  High- 
way and  the  Susquehanna  Trail.  As  a  part  of  this  great  expen- 
diture, during  1920  a  contract  was  let  by  Lewis  S.  Sadler,  chief 
of  the  State  Highway  Department,  for  the  construction  of  41,753 
feet  of  eighteen-foot  road  from  the  west  end  of  Clark's  Ferry 
bridge  (in  Dauphin  County)  to  the  line  between  Watts  and  Buf- 
falo Townships  (in  Perry  County).  The  contract  went  to  Mac- 
Arthur  Bros.  Company,  of  New  York,  at  $481,784.55.  It  is  built 
of  one-course,  reinforced  concrete,  and  is  almost  eight  miles  in 
length,  over  six  miles  of  which  are  in  Perry  County.  The  present 
governor,  Wm.  C.  Sproul,  was  always  interested  in  better  high- 
ways, and  while  a  member  of  the  State  Senate  many  years  ago, 
fathered  the  "Sproul  Good  Roads  Bill."  He  may  be  said  to  be 
the  pioneer  good  roads  enthusiast  of  Pennsylvania. 


WHEN  the  pioneers  first  delved  into  the  forests  of  what  is 
now  the  county  of  Perry  and  hewed  from  them  their  primi- 
tive homesteads  which  soon  blossomed  forth  with  vege- 
tables and  grain,  they,  of  necessity,  had  to  cross  the  Blue  Moun- 
tain to  the  Cumberland  Valley  to  have  their  grain  ground  into 
Hour  and  meal.  But  that  condition  was  short-lived,  for  at  their 
very  doors  was  the  force  of  streams  flowing  away,  which,  if 
dammed,  would  drive  the  machinery  of  innumerable  mills.  Thus 
came  the  building  of  the  first  mill.  The  lands  were  not  open  to 
settlement  until  1755.  it  will  be  remembered;  and  after  Brad- 
dock's  defeat  in  June  of  that  year,  the  Indian  uprising  drove  prac- 
tically all  the  settlers  out  of  the  territory  until  it  was  thought  safe 
to  return.  The  Roddy  (Waggoner)  mill  was  built  either  during 
the  first  year  of  settlement,  1755,  or  in  1762,  the  year  of  the  re- 
turn of  the  pioneers,  as  it  was  taxed  in  1763,  while  Perry  was 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  Cumberland  County.  Its  history  is  as 
interesting  as  the  story  of  Paul  Revere  or  other  tale  of  province 
or  colony  with  which  all  are  familiar.  When  the  war  whoop  of 
the  wily  red  men  resounded  through  the  forest,  the  valuable  mill- 
stones imported  from  France  were  taken  from  their  places  and 
sunk  in  the  mill  race  until  all  danger  had  passed  and  it  was  safe 
for  the  family  to  return. 

The  flouring  mill  was  one  of  Pennsylvania's  original  manufac- 
turing industries  and  remains  one  of  importance  to  this  day.  Dur- 
ing the  growth  of  the  Perry  County  territory  there  have  been  many 
mills  erected,  and  until  the  advent  of  the  steam  mill  this  section 
had  more  mills  than  any  other  in  Pennsylvania.  There  was  a 
reason  for  this  in  the  many  water-power  locations  available,  for 
be  it  remembered  that  Perry  County  has  more  springs  and  streams 
than  any  other,  when  its  comparatively  small  extent  is  considered. 
Of  some  of  these  mills  the  history  follows,  or  is  contained  in  the 
chapters  of  the  various  townships,  but  as  earlier  records  are  few 
and  far  between,  there  will  be  omissions,  of  course. 

On  a  map  published  in  1791,  when  the  first  governor,  Thomas 
Mifflin,  was  in  office,  no  less  than  ten  gristmills  are  located  by 
name,  and  there  are  a  number  merely  marked  "mill."  At  the 
mouth  of  the  Cocolamus  Creek,  in  Greenwood  Township,  was 
Shade's  mill,  now  the  J.  Keely  Everhart  mill.  Above  Duncan's 
Island,  on  the  Susquehanna,  is  one  designated  as  Vaux's  mill,  and 



at  Berry's  Falls  (Mt.  Patrick)  a  third.  Along  the  entire  length 
of  Sherman's  Creek  there  are  four  mills,  three  being  merely 
marked  "mill,"  and  the  fourth  designated  as  West's,  now  known 
as  the  Gibson  mill,  and  owned  by  S.  V.  Dunkelberger.  On  Fish- 
ing Creek  Shortis'  mill  appears  at  the  source,  and  Kincris'  mill  at 
its  mouth,  where  Marysville  is  now  located.  On  the  Little  Juniata 
two  are  marked,  near  its  mouth,  probably  being  the  Duncannon 
mill  and  the  old  Haas  mill.  In  the  Cove  one  is  also  marked.  At 
Buffalo  Creek's  headwaters  Linn's  mill  is  designated,  and  near 
"Buffaloe  Hills"  is  Robinson's.  At  the  mouth  of  the  Little  Buf- 
falo is  English's  mill,  later  known  as  M.  B.  Eshelman's,  and  now 
as  the  T.  H.  Butturf  mill. 

As  early  as  1814  two  townships  in  western  Perry,  not  to  men- 
tion the  other  large  extent  of  the  county,  had  twenty-eight  grist- 
mills, Toboyne  having  ten  and  Tyrone  eighteen.  In  1792  the 
county  territory  had  thirteen  flour  mills.  When  the  county  was 
erected,  in  1820,  there  were  forty-eight. 

There  is  record  of  Marcus  Hillings,  an  early  resident  of  Perry 
County,  being  authorized  to  erect  a  dam  and  mill  at  the  mouth  of 
Sherman's  Creek,  on  September  15,  I/84.  While  there  is  no  rec- 
ord of  its  building,  yet  it  was  probably  then  already  built,  as  the 
great  ice  flood  in  the  winter  of  1784  is  recorded  as  having  "swept 
away  gristmill  of  Marcus  Hidings,  situated  on  Sherman's  Creek, 
three-fourths  of  a  mile  from  its  mouth,"  according  to  the  diary 
of  Jacob  Young,  Sr.  It  either  had  been  built  prior  to  its  authori- 
zation, as  the  year  1784  appears  in  both  cases,  or  was  under  con- 
struction at  the  time,  if  Mr.  Young's  date  is  correct.  The  authori- 
zation date  is  from  the  public  records. 

In  those  early  days  when  roads  were  few  and  trails  and  bridle 
paths  were  the  avenues  of  traffic,  it  was  no  uncommon  thing  to  go 
to  mill  by  horseback,  the  women  frequently  performing  that  duty 
while  the  husband  and  sons  were  carving  farms  from  the  forests. 
Many  of  these  trips  at  first  were  ten  to  fifteen  miles  to  the  mill 
and  back,  and  some  much  farther,  tiresome  journeys,  indeed,  espe- 
cially by  bridle  paths  and  with  the  probability  of  even  meeting 
redskins  on  the  way. 

At  that  period  the  mills  were  more  or  less  of  a  rude  and  simple 
construction.  A  clumsy  water  wheel,  with  intermediate  cogs  put 
the  machinery  in  motion.  From  a  hopper  the  wheat  was  fed  to 
the  stones,  where  a  rough  bolting  cloth  separated  the  wheat  from 
the  bran.  The  present  milling  machinery  is  one  of  the  most  re- 
markable inventions  and  is  in  general  use. 

The  Waggoner  Mill.  Alexander  Roddy  was  the  builder  of  the 
first  mill  in  the  territory,  upon  the  site  of  the  present  Waggoner 
mill,  it  having  been  long  known  as  the  Roddy  mill.  He  first  came 
to  Tyrone  Township   from  Chester  County  and  located  on  what 


later  became  the  Stambaugh  farm  and  erected  a  cabin  of  poles 
near  the  spring  at  the  picnic  grounds  of  a  generation  ago.  This 
was  before  1754.  the  year  of  the  treaty  with  the  Indians  for  these 
lands,  and  he  was  accordingly  driven  out  with  other  "squatters," 
in  fact,  tradition  has  him  driven  out  several  times.  He  evidently 
did  not  return  to  the  Stambaugh  tract,  for  as  early  as  March,  1755, 
he  is  mentioned  as  an  adjoiner  of  a  warrant  just  east  of  this  mill 
tract,  lie  did  not  warrant  the  mill  tract  though  until  May  13, 
1763.  The  previous  year,  1762,  was  the  time  of  the  return  of  the 
great  number  of  settlers  to  the  territory,  and  it  is  likely  that  he 
built  the  mill  that  year,  as  it  was  already  on  the  tax  list  of  1763. 
The  Waggoner  mill  is  located  on  Roddy's  Run,  between  Centre 
and  Loysville,  in  Madison  Township,  one  and  a  half  miles  west  of 
Loysville.  The  warrant  calls  for  "one  hundred  and  forty-three 
acres,  including  his  improvements,  and  adjoining  John  Byards 
(Byers),  George  Robinson,  Roger  Clark,  James  Thorn  and  Wil- 
liam Officier,  in  Sherman's  Valley."  In  research  work  it  has  been 
found  that  frequently  settlers  lived  for  years  on  a  place  before 
applying  for  a  warrant.  In  the  case  of  the  adjoining  James  Thorn 
tract  Provincial  Secretary  Peters  attached  a  note,  dated  April  22, 
1763,  which  helps  bear  this  out.  It  says:  "The  land  for  which 
this  warrant  is  granted,  having  been  settled  upwards  of  nine  years 
ago,  the  interest  and  quit  rents  is  to  commence  from  the  1st  of 
March,  1754." 

In  March,  1763,  the  stream  is  mentioned  as  the  dividing  line  be- 
tween Tyrone  and  Toboyne  Townships,  upon  the  erection  of  the 
latter:  "Alexander  Roddy's  mill  run  to  be  the  line."  As  the  mill 
race  had  to  be  constructed  and  as  the  dam  originally  covered 
twenty-three  acres  of  ground,  he  evidently  had  been  there  long 
enough  before  this  to  dig  the  race  and  build  the  dam — a  task  of 
no  mere  days.  The  first  mill,  on  the  site  of  the  present  mill,  was 
built  of  logs,  but  was  torn  down  and  replaced  by  the  present  one 
in  1812.  There  is  a  reliable  family  tradition  that  there  was  no  mill 
yet  in  the  Tuscarora  Valley,  now  in  Juniata  County,  and  that 
women  came  alone  to  the  mill  on  horseback  by  way  of  Bigham's 
Gap  (Bealetown).  After  the  erection  of  the  first  mill  Indian  up- 
risings were  still  occurring,  and  when  conditions  became  alarming 
the  millstones,  even  in  those  days  imported  from  France,  were  re- 
moved from  the  mill  and  sunk  in  the  mill  race  until  the  danger  was 
over.  Fort  Robinson  was  less  than  a  half  mile  to  the  west,  and 
to  this  the  owners  fled  for  protection. 

The  dam  was  washed  out  by  the  great  flood  of  18S9.  At  times 
when  the  dam  has  been  cleaned  as  many  as  thirty  bushels  of  fish 
have  been  captured,  but  those  were  the  days  when  the  game  and 
fish  laws  were  less  drastic.    There  was  also  an  old  "up-and-down" 



sawmill  and  a  clover  mill  here  at   one  time,  the  clover  mill  still 

Alexander  Roddy  later  located  in  Virginia,  where  he  died  he- 
fore  1786,  a>  at  that  date  a  property  transaction  refers  to  his  tract 
as  "the  late  Alexander  Roddy's."  His  son,  James  Roddy,  became 
the  owner,  and  for  some  years  it  changed  hands  frequently.  In 
1784  James  More  purchased  it  at  sheriff's  sale.  In  January,  1793, 
James  Irvin  bought  it,  but  two  months  later  sold  it  to  Henry 
Richard.  In  1804  David  Showers  purchased  it,  and  the  next  deed 
is  from  the  sheriff  to  Frederick  Bryner,  who  erected  the  present 
mill  in  1812.  In  1816  he  sold  it  to  his  son,  Henry  Bryner.  At 
executor's  sale  in  1831,  it  passed  to  William  Miller,  who  sold  it 
to  Jacob  Weibley  and  John  Weidman  in  1837. 

On  March  29.  1839,  it  was  purchased  by  Benjamin  Waggoner, 
and  it  is  still  in  the  ownership  of  the  Waggoners.  The  new  owner 
was  an  experienced  mill  man  and  came  from  a  generation  of  mil- 
lers. His  father,  John  Waggoner,  as  early  as  1785  had  purchased 
the  Garwood  stone  mill,  located  in  Kennedy's  Valley,  and  in  1805 
had  built  the  Snyder  mill  at  Bridgeport  (near  Lahdisburg).  Ben- 
jamin Waggoner's  brother,  John  Waggoner,  was  the  owner  of  the 
Patterson  mill.  Benjamin  Waggoner  operated  the  Waggoner  mill 
until  his  death  in  1850.  In  August,  1854,  Moses  Waggoner,  a  son, 
purchased  it  from  the  heirs  and  erected  the  commodious  brick- 
dwelling  house  adjoining.     He  died  in  possession  in  1876. 

The  mill  is  now  owned  by  W.  H.  Waggoner*  (who  has  since 
died  )  and  his  sister,  Harriet  B.  Waggoner,  who  purchased  it  from 
the  heirs.  Mr.  Waggoner  can  remember  when  the  flour  was 
packed  in  barrels  and  hauled  to  Baltimore  to  market.  They  are 
descendants  of  the  original  owner,  Alexander  Roddy,  who  was 
their  great-grandfather  and  who  was  three  times  driven  from  the 
mill  to  seek  protection  at  the  fort  at  Robinson's.  A  brother  John 
E.  Waggoner,  is  a  merchant  and  postmaster  at  Centre,  to  whom, 
as  well  as  the  owners,  we  are  indebted  for  much  information.  As 
late  as  1917  W.  IT.  Waggoner  picked  up  an  Indian  skinning  knife 
near  tin-  mill,  and  Indian  arrow  darts  are  frequently  found.  In 
1900  the  mill  was  equipped  as  a  roller  mill  and  draws  a  large  trade, 
even  from  points  afar.  The  first  mill  dam  was  almost  one-fourth 
mile  farther  up  the  stream. 

The  Martin  Mil!.  That  a  gristmill  was  located  in  what  is  now 
Howe  Township,  then  a  part  of  Greenwood,  before  the  Revolu- 
tion, is  fully  established  by  public  records.     That  its  location  was 

*W.  H.  Waggoner  died  in  1921.  He  resided  in  the  Great  West  for 
many  years,  being  in  the  cattle  business  from  Texas  as  far  north  as  British 
Columbia.  When  the  Indians  still  inhabited  the  West,  train  guards  were 
employed,  and  for  a  time  Mr.  Waggoner  filled  that  position  on  the  Union 
Pacific.  The  death  of  his  wife,  leaving  two  motherless  girls,  one  but  a 
few  months  old,  necessitated  his  return  to  Pennsylvania. 


at  the  creek  wesl  of  the  farm  now  or  lately  owned  by  Lewis  Steck- 
lc\ .  near  the  I  lain  Moretz  place,  between  the  William  Penn  1  [igh- 
way  and  the  river,  is  likewise  established.  While  the  work  on  this 
book  was  in  progress,  J.  M.  Martin,  a  prominent  attorney  of  Min- 
neapolis, came  East,  and  with  Rev.  Frank  T.  Bell,  then  the  pastor 
of  the  Newport  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  went  to  the  tradi- 
tional location  of  this  old  gristmill,  the  property  of  their  common 
ancestor,  Samuel  Martin,  and  still  found  a  part  of  one  side  of  the 
overgrown  foundation,  near  the  month  of  the  run — then  "Bright- 
well's  Run" — and  the  spring  near  which  stood  the  first  stone  house 
of  his  son  Joseph,  afterwards  Captain.  That  the  sawmill  and 
gristmill  were  actually  built  is  proven  by  the  fact  that  they  were 
devised  by  the  will  of  Samuel  Martin,  dated  August  23,  1769,  to 
his  son  Joseph,  being  designated  as  "all  the  plantation  which  I 
bought  from  Robert  Brightwell,  with  mills  thereon,  and  all  and 
every  of  the  locations  in  Greenwood  Township,  etc."  Samuel 
Martin  also  owned  the  property  on  the  south  side  of  the  Juniata, 
on  which  many  years  later  was  located  the  old  Caroline  furnace, 
near  Bailey  Station.  Historical  records  relate  to  all  the  properties, 
and  for  that  reason  are  included  in  one  description,  under  this 
head.  The  time  of  passing  of  this  old  mill  is  veiled  in  obscurity. 
That  it  was  one  of  the  first  few  mills  within  the  limits  of  what  is 
now  Perry  County  is  a  fact. 

Samuel  Martin,  who  located  and  built  the  mill,  was  a  son  of 
Joseph  Martin,  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  present  Dauphin  County 
(then  a  part  of  Lancaster),  who  located  300  acres  of  land  at  Pax- 
tang,  now  a  suburb  of  Harrisburg,  in  1738,  part  of  which  is  now 
known  as  "Willowdale  Farm"  and  owned  by  Mrs.  Alice  Motter 
Lescure,  of  Harrisburg.  The  brick  house  built  there  by  Samuel 
Martin,  the  son,  in  1760,  is  still  standing.  From  there  came 
Samuel  Martin,  who  located,  on  November  18,  1768,  by  applica- 
tion No.  5263,  300  acres  of  land,  "on  the  north  side  of  the  Juniata, 
adjoining  Brightwell's  Run  and  Buffalo  Hill,  including  the  im- 
provements bought  of  James  Mahanna."  Samuel  Martin,  how- 
ever, never  resided  here.  The  mills  here  were  in  charge  of  his 
son  Joseph,  later  a  captain  in  the  Revolution.  On  the  same  day, 
this  son,  Joseph,  made  a  like  location  of  300  acres,  "on  the  north 
side  of  the  Juniata,  and  including  a  run  called  Brightwell's  Run, 
joining  Samuel  Martin,  Cumberland  County."  Samuel  also  located 
200  acres  at  about  the  same  time,  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Juniata. 
This  is  the  land  on  which  the  Caroline  furnace  was  long  after- 
wards built.  Samuel  Martin,  by  his  will,  dated  August  23,  1769, 
proved  in  Lancaster  County,  June  6,  1770,  devises  to  his  son  Jos- 
eph "the  plantation  I  purchased  of  Robert  Brightwell,  in  Green- 
wood Township,  Cumberland  County,  and  mills  thereon,  with  all 
and  every  of  the  locations  in  Greenwood  Township,"  and  with  one 


location  on  the  south  side  of  the  Juniata,  described  as  being  "at  the 
1  Ipper  Falls,  below  the  Great  Bend  in  the  Juniata."  By  the  terms 
of  Samuel  Martin's  will,  the  devise  to  Joseph  of  the  two  planta- 
tions or  locations,  together  with  "the  Dam  Stalion  Colt,  and  his 
Saddle  and  Bridle,  with  a  pair  of  oxen  commonly  called  Duk  and 
Brown,  also  a  low  Plantation  Wagon,"  was  coupled  with  the  pro- 
vision that  "my  son  Joseph  shall  pay  the  remaining  part  of  the 
payment  due  unto  John  Bowman  for  the  plantation  willed  and  be- 
queathed unto  my  son  John."  The  devise  of  the  Bowman  plan- 
tation is  made  to  the  son  John  on  the  condition  that  he  "make  no 
charge  for  any  part  or  parcel  of  his  work  done  by  him  to  or  mak- 
ing the  mills  on  the  plantation  I  purchased  from  Robert  Bright- 
well,  in  Greenwood  Township,  Cumberland  County,"  which  shows 
that  he  was  one  of  the  actual  builders  of  this  primitive  mill. 

Joseph  Martin,  evidently,  to  secure  this  charge  upon  his  land, 
gave  a  mortgage  to  the  executors  of  Samuel  Martin,  dated  Janu- 
ary 24,  1771  (recorded  in  Book  C-i,  p.  141,  at  Carlisle),  for  250 
pounds,  19  shillings  and  4  pence,  mortgaging  300  acres  in  Green- 
wood Township,  "bounded  by  Juniata  on  the  south,  with  gristmill 
thereon;  also  200  acres  in  Dublin*  Township  (now  Miller)  on 
the  south  side  of  the  Juniata,  above  the  falls  adjoining  Dick's 

On  March  26,  1776,  Joseph  Martin  and  wife,  by  deed,  recorded 
in  Book  1,  page  101,  in  Carlisle,  conveyed  to  Hugh  Miller,  eight 
acres  with  house,  being  a  "divided  fifth  of  forty  acres,  bounded 
west  by  land  of  Hugh  Miller,  north  by  Juniata  River,  east  by 
Samuel  Hutchinson,  south  by  William  Oliphant."  This  deed  was 
not  acknowledged,  but  proven  September  4,  1789,  by  affidavit  of 
Ann  Martin  (then  Ann  McCoy),  formerly  widow  and  relict  of 
Joseph  Martin,  deceased.  This  hasty  unacknowledged  deed  evi- 
dently furnished  Joseph  with  the  money  to  purchase  his  equipment 
for  the  Revolutionary  War.  While  in  the  army,  the  mortgage  was 
foreclosed   (Carlisle  records,  D-i,  p.  557),  but  400  acres  on  the 

*The  name  Dublin  Township,  as  recorded  at  Carlisle,  is  evidently  an 
error  of  the  transcriber,  as  the  location  became  a  part  of  Tyrone  Town- 
ship in  1754,  the  very  year  of  the  purchase  of  the  lands  from  the  Indians. 
Then  in  1766,  when  Rye  Township  was  formed,  it  was  within  its  borders, 
and  when  Miller  Township  was  erected  in  1852  it  was  within  its  confines. 
Dublin  Township  is  located  in  Huntingdon  County.  The  Evarts-Peck 
History  of  the  Susquehanna  and  Juniata  Valleys,  page  731,  says  of  it: 
"The  formation  of  Dublin  Township,  in  1767,  is  so  imperfectly  defined  as 
to  the  eastern  limits  that  nothing  can  be  determined  by  it.  It  was  to 
bound  'Ayr  and  Fannett  Townships  on  the  one  side.'  but  Lack  Township 
is  not  mentioned,  and  there  are  no  dividing  lines  as  to  Ayr  or  Lack.  The 
first  Dublin  assessment,  in  1768,  shows  no  transfer  of  names  from  Lack. 
The  only  thing  that  places  any  part  of  Dublin  east  of  Shade  Mountain  is 
that  it  was  to  join  on  Fannett,  which  lay  on  the  other  side  of  the  Tusca- 
rora  Mountain."  That  the  Martin  property  is  the  one  located  in  Miller 
Township,  however,  is  certain,  as  the  description  "above  the  falls  joining 
Dirk's  Hill,"  implies.     It  is  now  in  possession  of  Mrs.  L-  C.  Zimmerman. 


north  side  with  gristmill  and  improvements,  was  in  1787  deeded 
hack  to  the  widow,  then  Ann  McCoy,  with  remainder  to  the  three 
children  of  Captain  Joseph  Martin,  Samuel,  Mary,  and  Joseph. 

The  heirs,  in  attempting-  to  sell  this  land  in  November,  1805 
(deed  recorded  Carlisle,  Q-l,  p.  486),  found  it  necessary  in  order 
to  supply  evidence  of  a  lost  deed,  to  take  testimony  in  "Perpetuam 
Rei  Memoriam."  The  record  of  this  is  in  the  docket  of  Cum- 
berland County,  Pennsylvania,  at  Carlisle,  for  1800  and  1803, 
and  pertains  to  100  acres  of  the  tract  on  the  north  shore  of  the 
Juniata,  purchased  from  Robert  Brightwell,  who  had  purchased 
from  Frederick  Stoner,  and  recites  that  the  deed  from  St  oner 
bore  date  between  the  year  1763  and  1767;  "that  the  title  to  the 
same  tract  of  land  and  possession  of  the  same  did  come  by  diverse 
deeds  of  sale  and  devises  to  Joseph  Martin,  father  of  the  peti- 
tioner (Samuel),  that  in  the  year  IJJJ,  the  said  Joseph  Martin 
marched  as  a  captain  to  serve  a  tour  of  militia,  and  that  he  died 
before  his  return;  that  the  petitioner  and  all  the  children  of  said 
Joseph  were  then  infants;  that  the  said  deed,  during  the  infancy 
of  the  children  of  the  said  Joseph  Martin,  has  been  lost  or  mislaid, 
so  that  it  can  not  now  be  found,"  etc. 

Capt.  Joseph  Martin,*  after  spending  the  winter  at  Valley 
Forge,  was  taken  with  camp  fever,  and  started  home,  but  "died 
before  his  return."  His  fate  was  never  known.  Whether  he  died 
in  the  wilderness,  or  according  to  a  tradition,  was  captured  by  the 
British  and  died  in  a  British  "black  hole,"  has  never  been  known. 
His  three  children  afterwards  moved  to  Lewistown,  Pennsylvania, 
where  Samuel  and  Joseph  became  rivermen,  engaged  in  transpor- 
tation by  arks  between  Lewistown  and  Columbia,  from  1800  to 

This  old  Martin  location  is  historic  in  more  ways  than  one. 
While  Samuel  Martin  located  this  land  on  an  application  from  the 
province,  yet,  in  his  will  and  in  other  legal  papers  it  is  spoken  of 
by  him  as  "having  been  purchased  of  Robert  Brightwell."  The 
fact  is  that  a  warrant  and  original  order  of  survey  were  first  ob- 
tained on  April  30,  1765,  by  a  certain  Frederick  Stoner,  who  sold 

*Captain  Joseph  Martin  was  the  great-grandfather  of  Mr.  J.  M.  Martin, 
of  Minneapolis,  and  of  the  father  of  Rev.  Bell,  the  pastor  of  the  Newport 
Methodist  Church,  spoken  of  in  the  beginning  of  this  sketch.  The  three 
generations  named  are  noted  historically  in  three  different  fields.  Samuel 
Martin  erected  pioneer  mills,  almost  at  the  beginning  of  settlement;  Cap- 
tain Joseph  Martin,  of  the  next  generation,  became  a  martyr  to  the  pa- 
triot cause,  and  Samuel  and  Joseph  Martin,  of  the  following  generation, 
were  pioneer  rivermen  in  traffic  when  it  was  done  with  the  ancient  water 
craft  known  as  arks.  Captain  Joseph  Martin  was  married  to  Ann  (Nancy) 
Baskins,  of  Duncan's  Island,  and  his  two  sons,  Samuel  and  Joseph,  were 
born  at  the  home  of  their  grandparents  there,  while  their  father  was  a 
captain  in  the  Continental  Army.  Their  mother,  by  the  way,  was*  a  cousin 
of  the  grandmother  of  Alexander  H.  Stephens,  notable  as  the  Vice-Presi- 
dent of  the  Confederacy. 


and  conveyed  his  interest  to  Robert  Brightwell  on  March  17,  1768. 
After  eight  months  it  passed  to  Samuel  Martin,  it  would  appear, 
both  by  purchase  of  the  previous  right  and  by  warrant  from  the 
province,  thus  assuring  title.  The  improvements  of  James  Ma- 
hanna  are  taken  to  refer  to  an  improvement  probably  made  by  a 
squatter,  who  had  no  title  to  the  lands.  On  January  2,  1880,  it 
was  conveyed  by  Samuel  and  Joseph  Martin,  two  of  the  heirs  of 
Captain  Joseph,  to  James  McGinnes,  Sr.  (the  husband  of  their 
only  sister  Mary).  He,  in  turn,  sold  to  William  and  James  Power, 
by  agreement  dated  November  7,  1801,  thirty-seven  acres,  at  the 
western  boundary,  including  the  mills.  On  November  16,  1805, 
his  executors  gave  the  deed  accordingly.  The  patent  from  the 
state  for  a  part  of  this  original  tract  was  issued  to  John  Patterson, 
August  19,  1803,  of  another  portion  to  his  son  John,  July  25, 
1863,  and  remained  in  his  possession  for  many  years.  At  its  east- 
ern boundary  the  latter  kept  a  famous  road  house  in  turnpike 
days,  and  there  was  located  the  post  office  known  as  Fahter  Falls, 
and  later  as  Juniata  Falls. 

The  Patterson  Mill,  near  Miller st own.  The  first  mill  erected  on 
the  Cocolamus  Creek,  near  its  mouth,  in  Greenwood  Township, 
was  built  by  William  Patterson.  Jones'  History  of  the  Juniata 
Valley  describes  it  as  a  "tub  mill"  and  states  that  it  was  carried 
away  by  a  flood.  It  was  built  prior  to  1771,  for  in  that  year  it  is 
named  as  a  point  on  the  road  leading  from  John  Gallagher's  to 
Baskins'  Ferry.  Shuman's  mill,  at  the  same  point,  was  built  be- 
fore 1805,  for  in  that  year  John  S human  is  assessed  with  a  grist- 
and  sawmill.  John  Shuman  had  come  from  Lancaster  before  1800 
and,  after  building  the  mill,  operated  it  until  his  death,  in  1818. 
In  that  year  Col.  John  Shuman,  his  son,  bought  it  and  190  acres  of 
land,  for  $9,000.  In  1827  he  sold  the  mill  to  George  Shuman  for 
$5,000.  It  then  passed  through  the  hands  of  George  Maus,  Syl- 
vester Bergstresser,  and  others.  Its  location  is  a  half  mile  east 
of  Millerstown,  and  it  is  now  owned  and  operated  by  J.  Keely 

The  Rice  Mill.  While  the  Rice  mill  lays  no  claim  to  being  the 
first  mill  to  be  erected  in  what  is  now  Perry  County,  its  history  is 
over  a  century  and  a  third  in  years  and  it  is  the  oldest  original  mill 
building  to  remain  standing  in  the  county.  It  is  located  near  Lan- 
dishurg,  in  Tyrone  Township,  on  Montour  Creek,  near  the  Ken- 
nedy's Valley  bridge.  It  was  on  this  creek  that  the  first  authorized 
settler,  Andrew  Montour,  from  whom  it  takes  its  name,  was  lo- 
cated, the  provincial  authorities  giving  him  permission  so  that  he 
would  see  that  no  others  would  settle  in  the  territory  until  such 
time  as  the  lands  were  purchased  from  the  Indians.  In  fact,  he 
later  warranted  143  acres,  located  between  Landisburg,  Mon- 
tour's Creek  and  Sherman's  Creek,  which  in  1788  was  surveyed 



to  William  Mitchell,  and  soon  passed  to  Abraham  Landis,  who  was 
the  founder  of  Landisburg.  In  1787  Landis  had  also  warranted 
116  acres  adjoining. 

(  In  this  property  the  Rice  mill  was  erected  about  1786,  as  some 
of  the  machinery  had  stamped  upon  it  the  date,  "1786."  It  was 
probably  built  by  Shipper.  Rhine,  who  operated  it  until  1795.  It 
was  then  rented  to  Jacob  Bigler,  father  of  the  two  governors  whose 
lives  appear  elsewhere  in  this  book,  and  others.    On  June  25,  1813, 

Photo    by    Illick. 

The    Oldest    Mill    Still    Standing,    but    not    the    First    Mill    Built    in    the    County,    that 
Having    Been    the    Roddy    Mill,    now    Waggoner's,    west    of    Loysville. 

Zachariah  Rice  purchased  from  George  Stroop,  who  then  owned 
it,  twenty-five  acres,  being  a  part  of  the  Abraham  Landis  tract,  on 
which  was  a  house  erected  partly  of  logs  and  partly  of  brick  and 
a  gristmill. 

The  old  mill  stands  there,  the  picture  of  antiquity,  with  much  of 
its  original  machinery.  On  a  post  is  painted  "1786,''  and  on  the 
old  scale  beam  were  the  words  "Sbippen  Rhine,  1789."  Hanging 
against  the'  old  mill  is  the  original  scales,  first  used  when  the  mill 
began  operations,  the  weights  being  stones,  one  of  which  is  in 
possession  of  the  author  of  this  book,  a  gift  from  the  owner  while 
there  seeking  information.  The  weights  were  correct,  the  stones 
being  of  the  same  weight  as  those  of  the  modern  scales.  The  doors 
were  hung  with  wooden  hinges  which  are  still  doing  duty.  The 
seventh  water  wheel  was  beins:  installed  at  the  time  of  the  writer's 


visit  in  1919,  the  life  of  a  wheel  being  about  twenty-four  years, 
according  to  information  furnished  by  John  A.  Saucerman,  the 
present  proprietor. 

These  old  mills  used  burrs  in  the  grinding  of  the  grain  and  were 
not  as  speedy  as  modern  roller  equipment,  yet  a  little  incident 
banded  down  in  the  Rice  family  shows  that  even  in  that  early 
period  things  were  sometimes  done  with  speed,  although  the  facili- 
ties were  crude.  It  was  related  to  us  by  Mrs.  A.  K.  Rice,  whose 
husband  was  the  proprietor  until  his  death  a  few  years  ago,  she  in 
turn  having  received  the  information  from  the  preceding  genera- 
tion. Jeremiah  Rice,  of  the  second  generation  to  own  the  mill, 
cut  wheat  in  the  morning  with  an  old-fashioned  cradle,  the  imple- 
ment in  use  in  those  days  for  that  purpose ;  threshed  it  with  the 
flail,  that  crude  and  noisy  implement  which  extracted  the  grain 
from  the  hulls;  ground  the  wheat  into  flour  in  the  Rice  mill  and 
turned  it  over  to  Katharine,  his  good  wife,  who  baked  bread  of  it 
and  served  fresh  and  warm  to  the  hungry  harvest  hands  for  supper 
— the  entire  operation  occurring  between  sunrise  and  sunset. 

Adjoining  the  old  mill  stands  the  old  Rice  distillery,  now  used 
as  a  storage  room,  in  the  basement  of  which  appears  the  inscription, 
painted  on  a  beam,  "Last  stilling,  1822."  The  brick  house,  located 
above  the  mill,  along  the  stream,  was  erected  in  1822.  It  is  the 
equal  of  any  summer  residence  to  be  found  anywhere,  and  it  is 
little  wonder  that  the  fifth  generation  of  the  Rice  family  is  still  in 
possession,  the  owner  being  John  A.  Saucerman,  who  is  married 
to  a  daughter  of  A.  K.  Rice. 

There  was  a  sawmill  there  built  in  1842.  The  gristmill  is  used 
now  only  as  a  chopping  mill. 

The  Stokes  Mill,  Once  the  Blaine  Mill  The  mill  known  to  the 
present  or  recent  generation  as  the  Stokes  mill  was  the  one  built 
l»v  James  Blaine  as  early  as  1778,  as  it  was  assessed  in  that  year, 
and  later  around  it  sprang  up  the  settlement  now  called  Blain,  the 
final  "e"  being  dropped.  This  James  Blaine  is  the  one  and  same 
man  from  whom  sprang  the  famous  Blaine  family,  which  pro- 
duced the  noted  Commissary  General  of  the  Revolution,  Ephraim 
Blaine,  and  at  a  later  day  a  noted  statesman  and  the  candidate  of 
the  Republican  party  for  President  of  the  United  States,  James 
G.  Blaine.  The  mill  later  must  have  come  into  the  possession  of 
lames  S.  Blaine,  for  on  April  20,  1820,  the  very  year  of  the  organi- 
zation of  Perry  County,  it  passed  to  David  Moreland.  By  inherit- 
ance it  passed  to  his  daughter.  Diana  Gitt,  who  was  united  in  mar- 
riage to  Anthony  Black,  to  whom  she  transferred  it  on  December 
20,  1830.  On  December  21,  1846,  Anthony  Black's  administrator 
deeded  it  to  Thomas,  Wayne,  and  James  Woods.  They,  in  turn, 
sold  it  to  Isaac   Stokes  on  October   1,   1857.     He  owned  it  until 


April  1,  1905.  at  which  time  it  was  purchased  from  him  by  Wil- 
liam H.  Book,  the  present  owner  and  operator.  It  is  equipped 
with  rolls. 

This  title  is  traced  for  the  reason  that  there  has  existed  a  differ- 
ence of  opinion  as  to  who  built  the  mill.  Silas  Wright,  in  his  His- 
tory of  Perry  County  (1873)  crediting"  William  Douglas  with  its 
building,  and  Professor  Flickinger,  as  a  contributory  editor  of  the 
Evarts-Peck  History  of  the  Susquehanna  and  Juniata  Valleys 
1  [886),  asking,  "If  Douglas  built  the  mill,  then  where  was  the 
gristmill  situated  for  which  James  Blaine  was  assessed  in  1778?" 
Mr.  Flickinger  was  a  native  of  western  Perry  and  long  principal 
of  the  Central  State  Normal  School  at  Lock  Haven.  He  adds  that 
Douglas  was  the  first  postmaster,  the  office  being  called  Douglas' 
Mill.  The  fact  is  that  the  first  post  office  was  called  Moreland's, 
being  established  in  1820,  the  very  year  of  the  county's  erection, 
but  in  1822,  when  the  mail  contract  was  let  it  was  already  known 
as  Douglas'  Mills. 

There  is  no  record  of  Douglas  locating  or  purchasing  lands  in 
that  vicinity,  and  the  mill  is  on  the  original  James  Blaine  location. 
There  is  a  probability  that  he  was  the  lessee  of  the  mill,  probably 
for  a  long  period,  and  that  it  came  to  be  known  as  Douglas'  Mill. 
Should  there  have  been  an  office  there  before  1820  and  Douglas  the 
postmaster,  then,  evidently  with  Mr.  Moreland's  purchase  in  1820, 
the  name  was  changed  to  Moreland's,  and  in  a  very  short  time  re- 
stored to  Douglas'  Mills.  One  fact  is  clear,  and  that  is  that  Doug- 
las never  owned  the  mill,  else  the  records  of  the  recorder  of  deeds 
are  wrong. 

Up  to  the  time  of  the  ownership  of  Andrew  Black  the  mill  and 
the  farm  were  always  owned  by  one  and  the  same  party,  but  he 
sold  the  farm  to  James  McNeal,  who  conducted  a  large  tannery  at 
the  northern  end  of  Blain,  and  the  mill  passed  as  previously  stated. 

The  Endslozv  Mill.  Before  1778,  in  which  year  it  was  already 
assessed  in  the  name  of  James  Miller,  the  Endslow  mill  was  built 
in  what  was  then  Toboyne  Township,  but  in  that  part  of  the  town- 
ship which  later  became  Jackson  Township.  Its  location  is  one 
mile  east  of  Blain.  John  Moreland,  an  uncle  of  the  late  David 
Moreland,  of  Blain,  married  Jane,  the  daughter  of  James  Miller, 
and  her  patrimony  was  this  mill  and  forty  acres  of  land.  In  1822 
it  passed  to  James  McNeal,  whose  son-in-law,  Samuel  Endslow,  be- 
came the  next  owner,  obtaining  possession  about  1840.  In  1869  his 
son,  William  S.  Endslow,  became  the  owner  and  operated  the  mill 
until  about  1908,  when  he  retired  from  both  milling  and  farming. 
About  1883  the  mill,  which  was  already  the  second  one  to  occupy 
the  site,  was  burned  by  incendiaries,  and  was  rebuilt  by  Mr.  Ends- 
low.  Upon  his  retirement  he  sold  both  mill  and  farm  to  his  son, 
George  S.  Endslow,  now  of  Lancaster  County,  who  still  owns  it 


but  never  operated  it.    The  farm  passed  to  Harry  O.  Hench.    The 
mill  still  stands,  though  idle,  a  relic  of  a  past  pioneer  industry- 
It  was  one  of  the  earliest  mills  in  the  county. 

"Westoirr,"  The  Gibson  Mill.  When  William  Penn  came  to 
.America  on  his  second  trip,  about  1 700,  a  fellow  passenger  was; 
Francis  West,  who  came  from  the  family  seat  at  Westover,  Eng- 
land, and  who,  with  his  family,  took  up  large  tracts  along  Sher- 
man's Creek,  as  narrated  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  Spring  Town- 
ship. His  daughter,  Ann  West  Gibson,  who  became  the  mother  of 
that  peerless  dispenser  of  justice,  Chief  Justice  John  Bannister 
Gibson,  warranted  lands  in  1787,  and  before  1779,  when  it  was 
already  assessed,  had  erected  what  she  called  the  "Westover  Mill," 

Photo  by  W.  A.  Eberly. 
This  Mill  was  Built  by  Ann  West  Gibson,  mother  of  Chief  Justice   Gibson. 

known  generally  as  the  Gibson  mill,  and  which  included  a  sawmill. 
It  is  located  several  hundred  yards  west  of  Gibson's  Rock,  a 
mighty  profile  jutting  to  the  edge  of  the  creek.  The  water  by 
which  the  mill  is  run  does  not  come  from  Sherman's  Creek,  how- 
ever, but  from  a  smaller  stream  which  flows  through  the  wooded 
hills  surrounding. 

It  was  in  regular  use  as  a  gristmill  until  1850.  Then,  after  a 
period  of  idleness  covering  almost  twenty  years  it  was  turned  into 
a  spoke  and  felloe  factory  by  Frank  Gibson,  and  later  into  a  paint 
mill.  Then  for  some  years  it  was  destined  to  idleness,  but  was 
again  put  in  operation  as  a  gristmill  and  is  now  in  the  ownership 
of  S.  V.  Dunkelberger.  An  addition  was  erected  to  it  in  1871, 
and  at  that  time  there  was  no  mill  machinery  in  the  place.  It  is 
operated  by  an  eighteen-foot  overshot  water  wheel  of  the  old  type. 
Both  the  burr  and  modern  roller  process  types  of  machinery  are 


in  use.  On  a  corner  of  the  foundation  of  this  old  historic  land- 
mark is  this  inscription  plate:  "U.  S.  Geological  Survey;  Eleva- 
tion above  sea  level,  471  feet.  A.  D.  1903."  The  original  mill  is 
described  as  being  a  "log  structure,  with  only  one  run  of  stone." 
It  will  be  noted  that  the  top  story  is  not  of  stone.  The  original 
mill  tract  is  spoken  of  as  containing  seventy-eight  acres. 

The  Hshelmmt  Mill,  now  Butturf's.  Just  when  the  Eshelman, 
or  Butturff  mill,  in  Oliver  Township,  at  Newport's  very  border, 
was  built,  cannot  be  stated  exactly.  It  is  built  on  a  tract  of  land 
which  once  comprised  185  acres  and  which  was  warranted  June  5, 
1772,  to  William  West,  Jr.,  from  whom  it  passed  on  September  3 
of  the  same  year  to  David  English.  That  the  mill  was  built  before 
April  22,  1790,  is  sure,  as  on  that  day  the  sheriff  sold  it  to  Christo- 
pher Myers.  In  December,  1790,  it  was  purchased  from  him  by 
Dr.  Daniel  Fahnestock,  of  Warrington,  York  County.  In  1814  it 
was  assessed  in  the  name  of  Joseph  Zinn.  At  that  time  the  original 
stone  building,  50x60  feet  in  size,  included  all  of  the  mill,  but 
Amos  Overholtzer,  who  purchased  it  in  1873,  built  the  brick  story 
to  it  and  added  improved  machinery.  A  sawmill,  plaster  mill  and 
dwelling  house  with  nine  acres  of  land,  were  a  part  of  the  estab- 
lishment. M.  B.  Eshelman,  who  purchased  it  in  1876,  from  Mr. 
Oberholtzer's  administrator  for  $17,500,  added  the  latter.  Mr. 
Eshelman's  heirs  sold  it  to  T.  H.  Butturf,  in  1902,  for  $5,200. 

The  Alt.  Patrick  Crist  mill.  Shall  I  ever  forget  it?  Not  while 
memory  lasts.  Geo.  Blattenberger,  Jr.,  friend  of  my  father's,  was 
the  miller,  and  to  him  came  the  grists  from  the  countryside  to  be 
ground  into  flour  for  the  family  bread.  Although  many  years 
have  passed  since  I  made  my  last  trip  there  and  heard  the  jolly 
greeting  and  the  ringing  laugh  of  the  miller,  who  now  sleeps  the 
sleep  that  knows  no  waking,  in  the  cemetery  on  the  heights  above 
Liverpool,  it  seems  as  but  yesterday.  The  way  from  home  led 
along  the  Pennsylvania  Canal,  and  in  its  palmy  days  many  boats 
were  passed  on  the  way,  and  occasionally  the  nifty  little  steamer  of 
Col.  T.  T.  W'eirman,  the  superintendent,  would  be  passed.  It  was 
an  innovation  in  those  days.  Opposite  the  mill  was  an  overflow, 
where  the  waters  of  the  canal  fell  over  the  side  of  an  aqueduct 
to  the  bed  of  the  valley  stream  crossing  beneath,  with  a  swish  and 
a  roar  that  drowned  ordinary  speaking.  The  trip  to  the  mill  was 
never  labor,  as  the  welcome  of  Mr.  Blattenberger,  whose  heart 
was  in  the  right  place,  far  repaid  any  seemingly  hardships. 

Just  when  this  mill  was  built,  or  when  the  first  mill  was  built 
at  that  site,  is  unknown,  but  a  map  of  1791  shows  a  mill  located 
at  "Berry's  Falls."  As  the  locations  are  identical  the  inference  is 
that  it  was  built  prior  to  1 791.  While  the  property  was  not  pat- 
ented until  November  10,  1829,  it  had  been  warranted  long  before 
and  made  into  a  farm.     It  was  early  owned  by  a  man  named  Bru- 


baker,  and  in  August,  [834,  was  sold  as  the  estate  of  Peter  Ritner 
(a  brother  of  Governor  Ritner)  to  Simon  Gratz,  who  transferred 
ii  m  Simon  Cameron  in  trust  for  the  Lykens  Valley  Coal  Com- 
pany, who  desired  it  for  a  landing'  for  their  coal  flats  which 
brought  coal  across  the  river  to  the  new  Susquehanna  Canal.  In 
1841  it  was  purchased  by  George  Blattenberger,  Sr.,  familiarly 
known  as  "Judge,"  having  been  an  associate  judge  of  the  county. 
He  owned  it  until  1889,  when  it  was  purchased  by  Adam  Barner, 
who  died  in  1890.  It  is  now  owned  by  his  son,  George  A.  Barner. 
The  transfer  of  1834  names  the  place  as  having  a  sawmill,  a  mer- 
chant mill,  a  plaster  mill,  a  flour  mill,  a  trip-hammer,  and  a  dis- 
tillery. The  mill  has  been  dismantled  and  the  building  removed 
and,  when  completed,  "the  Susquehanna  Trail"  will  pass  over  the 

The  farm  originally  included  all  of  Mt.  Patrick,  the  mill  prop- 
erty, the  Jacob  McConnell  place,  and  the  S.  E.  Bucke  farm.  The 
distillery  was  located  across  the  creek  from  the  mill,  on  the  mill- 
house  plot.  The  fulling  mill  was  at  the  forebay  of  the  gristmill  and 
the  sumac  mill  at  the  Jacob  McConnell  place. 

The  Old  Snyder  or  Hackett  Mill.  John  Sanderson,  wdio  owned 
eleven  hundred  acres  of  land  in  one  body,  near  Elliottsburg,  in 
Spring  Township,  was  assessed  with  two  stills  and  a  gristmill  in 
1792.  Upon  his  death  he  devised  the  land  covering  this  mill  site 
to  his  nephew,  George  Elliott.  In  183 1  George  Elliott  conveyed 
to  George  S.  Hackett  400  acres  upon  which  was  erected  the  mill 
and  a  distillery.  In  1850  he  sold  it  to  Alexander  Topley,  of  Bloom- 
field,  and  upon  his  death,  in  1854,  his  administrator  conveyed  it 
to  Robert  and  Isaac  Jones.  A  year  later  they  sold  it  to  John  Sny- 
der, who  operated  it  until  about  1873,  when  it  was  found  to  be 
unprofitable  to  continue  operations.  Mr.  Snyder  died  on  the 
premises  in  1882,  and  in  1907  the  old  mill  property  passed  to  Silas 
W.  Moyer,  the  present  owner. 

The  Snyder  Mill,  now  Hooke's.  In  18135  John  Waggoner,  the 
father  of  Benjamin  Waggoner,  the  first  of  the  clan  of  that  name 
to  own  the  Roddy  mill,  erected  a  mill  near  Bridgeport,  which  is 
now  known  as  Snyder's  mill.  There  is  an  article  of  agreement  on 
record  dated  1805  in  which  Thomas  Ross  grants  to  Mr.  Wag- 
goner the  privilege  of  "joining"  his  mill  dam  to  lands  of  his.  At 
the  same  time  he  was  the  owner  of  the  mill  in  Kennedy's  Valley, 
assessed  to  Robert  Garwood  in  [782,  and  which  he  purchased  a 
few  years  later.  There  is  record  of  his  residence  in  Kennedy's 
Valley  until  his  death,  and  the  presumption  is  that  he  built  the 
Snyder  mill  as  an  investment. 

Mr.  Waggoner  died  in  1834.  and  among  other  things  in  his  ap- 
praisement was  ninety-two  barrels  of  whiskey,  and  one  barrel  of 
peach  brandy  appraised  at  $8.00  per  barrel,  for  which  $1.75  per 


barrel  was  paid  to  convey  it  to  Baltimore  in  wagons.  His  estate 
was  unsettled  for  years,  and  in  1X54,  the  sheriff,  by  proceedings  in 
partition,  deeded  these  lands,  "having  thereon  erected  a  large  brick 
house,  log  barn,  and  a  large  stone  merchant  mill  and  other  out- 
buildings to  Joseph  McClure  and  William  W.  Snyder.  Mr.  Mc- 
Clure  died  and  his  heirs  conveyed  his  half  to  James  McClure,  from 
whom,  in  1861,  Mr.  Snyder  secured  entire  ownership.  Mr.  Sny- 
der operated  the  mill  until  his  death  in  1893.  In  1902  the  prop- 
erty was  conveyed  to  Dr.  B.  P.  Hooke  (a  son-in-law  of  Mr.  Sny- 
der), who  died"  in  1903,  and  by  will  devised  it  to  his  son,  B.  P. 
Hooke,  the  present  owner. 

The  Bear  Mill.  The  Bear  mill  is  located  on  Sherman's  Creek, 
in  Madison  Township,  south  of  Centre,  and  about  one  and  one- 
half  miles  from  Loysville.  It  is  on  a  tract  warranted  by  John 
Scouller  in  1787.  It  was  erected  prior  to  1814,  at  which  time 
Englehart  Wormley  was  assessed  with  it.  In  1835  it  was  in  pos- 
session of  John  Wormley.  The  brick  mill  which  replaced  the  first 
structure  was  erected  in  1841.  Henry  Bear  came  into  possession 
and  he  and  his  son,  Wm.  F.  Bear,  operated  it  for  many  years.  In 
1889  it  was  purchased  by  Jos.  B.  Lightner,  who  in  1910  sold  to 
Ida  Wolfe,  and  from  her  in  191 5  it  was  purchased  by  the  Tressler 
(  )rphans'  Home  and  an  electric  light  plant  installed. 

The  Patterson  Mill.  In  1753,  as  indicated  in  a  case  before  the 
provincial  governor,  William  Patterson  had  located  on  Laurel  Run, 
Tyrone  Township.  He  did  not,  however,  warrant  lands  until  1766, 
when  he  took  up  four  hundred  acres,  some  of  which  is  still  in  pos- 
session of  the  Patterson  family.  In  18 14  Francis  Patterson  had  a 
sawmill  there,  and  soon  after  erected  an  oil  mill.  These  two,  and 
a  chopping  mill  were  operated  by  Thomas  Patterson  in  1825. 
Then,  in  the  period  between  1830  and  1840,  Fahnestock  and 
Ferguson  built  a  scythe  and  edge-tool  factory  there.  John  Wag- 
goner, a  son  of  the  sire  of  the  Waggoner  family  of  millers,  then 
purchased  it  and  turned  the  oil  mill  and  the  chopping  mill  into  a 
gristmill.  After  1840  Solomon  Hengst  also  conducted  a  foundry 
"there  for  a  few  years.  William  A.  and  James  F.  Lightner  later 
came  into  possession  of  the  mill,  and  in  1887  sold  to  Martin  L. 
Rice,  who  after  operating  it  for  some  years,  in  1903  sold  it  to  the 
Oak  Extract  Company,  and  from  that  time  it  has  been  dismantled 
as  a  mill. 

Bi.rler's  Mill.  The  old  Bixler  flour  mill  is  located  on  Tousey's 
Run,  in  Madison  Township,  and  is  still  in  operation,  the  present 
miller  being  George  E.  Beck,  and  the  place  being  often  known  as 
Beck's  Mills.  It  was  built  in  1812-1814  by  Zalmon  and  Azariah 
Tousey,  brothers,  who  had  purchased  the  property  containing  345 
acres,  March  7,  1812,  from  Hugh  Hamilton,  whose  holdings  com- 
prised over  six  hundred  acres  and  was  known  as  "Hamiltonia." 


This  mill  is  located  on  the  tract  warranted  by  Hugh  Alexander, 
February  3,  1755,  the  day  the  land  office  was  first  opened  to  set- 
tlement for  Perry  County.  It  contained  344  acres.  In  180 1  this 
property  was  transferred  to  Hugh  Hamilton,  a  son  of  John  Hamil- 
ton and  Margaret  Alexander,  the  warrantee's  daughter.  The  new 
owner  was  also  possessor  of  the  400  acres  which  adjoined  and 
which  was  warranted  by  John  Hamilton,  which  made  the  tract  a 
large  one  as  noted  above.  Jacob  Bixler  and  John  Flickinger,  in 
1836  bought  it  from  the  administrators  of  the  Touseys  and  in  a 
tew  years  divided  it.  the  mill  going  to  Bixler  with  ninety  acres  of 
land,  and  the  rest  of  the  lands  to  Flickinger. 

A  mute  reminder  of  the  early  settlement  of  this  young  couple 
and  the  erection  of  their  home  lies  in  the  office  of  the  old  mill. 
It  is  the  corner  stone  of  the  old  house,  which  Bixler  tore  away  in 
1840,  it  being  a  two-story  log  house.  It  is  of  marble,  with  an 
inscription  arranged  as  in  the  accompanying  diagram. 







The  A  is  evidently  the  initial  of  the  family  name,  Alexander, 
and  the  II  and  M  on  a  lower  line  probably  refer  to  the  first  ini- 
tials of  the  builders,  Hugh  and  Martha.  The  date  probably  is  con- 
nected with  the  early  occupation  of  the  lands.  The  S.  and  N.  evi- 
dently refer  to  the  directions  of  the  compass,  and  the  stone  was 
evidently  used  to  mark  their  claim. 

In  1846  Jacob  Bixler  rebuilt  the  east  end  of  the  mill  from  the 
foundation,  and  in  1870  remodeled  the  interior  and  put  in  two 
turbine  water  wheels,  the  first  in  the  county.  He  also  built  the 
adjoining  woollen  mill  in  1853,  of  which  more  elsewhere.  The 
firm  was  later  known  as  Jacob  Bixler  &  Sons. 

The  present  owner,  George  E.  Beck,  purchased  the  property  and 
mills  from  the  Bixler  heirs  in  1888  and  does  a  good  business.  The 
mill  is  of  the  old-fashioned  burr  variety  and  the  stones  used  in 
grinding  the  grain  are  secured  in  France,  none  as  satisfactory  being 
obtainable  elsewhere. 

Before  the  county  was  dotted  with  its  many  merchandising 
places  the  Bixler  mill  made  blankets  and  yarns,  and  besides  whole- 
saling them  also  ran  a  wagon  over  the  county  doing  a  retailing 
business.  Upon  this  wagon  appeared  in  neat  lettering:  "Centre 
Woollen  Mills,  Bixler  &  Bro.,  Blankets,  Yarns,  etc."  Many  Perry 
Countians,  even  of  middle  age,  can  remember  its  regular  trips.  It 
still  stands  in  a  shed  at  the  mills,  a  mute  reminder  of  a  passing  age. 
Even  the  advertisements  on  its  sides  link  the  past  with  the  present, 


for  among  the  names  are  those  of  persons  yet   living,  who  were 
then  in  business.    The  names: 

"Bentzell  &  Bro.,  Tailors.  New   Bloomfield. 

"Ensminger  Livery,  New  Bloomfield. 

"A.  P.  Nickel,  Undertaking,  New  Bloomfield. 

"Chas.  B.  Stewart,  Watches,  New  Bloomfield. 

"Wm.  H.  Smith,  Coach  Maker,  New  Bloomfield. 

"John  A.  Martin,  Harness,  New  Bloomfield." 

The  old  woollen  mill  was  operated  until  1910.  It  still  contains 
the  old  looms,  hut  the  only  work  done  there  is  the  carding  of  wool 
on  a  small  scale  and  principally  as  an  accommodation,  for  the  rais- 
ing of  sheep  in  the  county  has  decreased  as  the  years  have  passed. 
The  mill  contained  an  old  "hand-mule"  spinner,  with  160  spindles. 
Bixler's  Mills  was  once  a  thriving  settlement,  and  in  1884  a  post 
office  was  established  there  named  Bixler,  since  replaced  by  rural 
delivery.  Jacob  Bixler  was  the  son  of  a  miller,  Jacob  Bixler,  Sr., 
who  came  from  Dauphin  County  in  1818  and  built  the  mill  near 
Eshcol,  in  Saville  Township. 

Other  Mills.  The  history  of  the  various  other  mills,  many  of 
them  dating  back  a  century,  appears  in  the  various  chapters  de- 
voted to  the  townships  and  boroughs  of  the  county,  to  be  found 
elsewhere  in  this  book. 


The  lands  of  Perry  County  were  not  long  settled  by  any  of  the 
white  race  before  there  began  springing  up  here  and  there  along 
the  various  streams,  numbers  of  the  old-fashioned   water-power 
sawmills,  known  largely  as  "up-and-down"  sawmills.     On.  them 
were  sawed  the  huge  trees,  which  were  fashioned  into  boards  and 
shingles  for  the  building  of  the  early  homes.    There  were  so  many 
of  these  at  various  times  and  places  that  it  is  impossible  to  give 
with   any   degree    of    thoroughness    their    locations    and    owners. 
Through  them  the  primeval    forests  were  turned   into   dwelling, 
houses,  barns,  outbuildings,  churches,  bridges,  schoolhonses,  and 
the  forerunner  of  the  brick  and  cement  pavement — the  old-time 
boardwalk.      The    drainage    basins    of    practically    all    important 
streams  were  locations  of  one  or  more  of  these  early  manufactur- 
ing plants.    In  a  single  community  of  which  Shermansdale  was  the 
centre,  there  were  the  McCord  mill  near  Pisgah,  the  Smiley  mill 
on  Smiley  Run,  the  McCaskey  mill  in  northern  Carroll,  the  Stauf- 
fer  mill  in  a  gorge  of  the  mountain  along  Sherman's  Creek,  the 
Rebert  (now  Smith's)  mill  west  of  that  village,  and  that  of  John 
H.  Lonck,  two  miles  east  of  Shermansdale,  where  he  also  had  a 
gristmill  and  post  office  known  as  Louck's  Mills,  to  which  the  mails 
were  carried  from  Carlisle  by  postrider.     The  proprietors  of  four 
of  these  mills— the  McCord,   Smiley,   McCaskey,  and   Louck's— 


now  rest  within  fifty  feet  of  each  other,  in  the  Presbyterian  ceme- 
tery near  Shermansdale,  while  their  mills,  later  developed  into  the 
"thnndergust"  type,  have  long  since  been  swept  away  by  the  floods 
from  the  very  hills  which  their  industry  denuded,  and  of  which  it 
was  the  contributing  cause.  Some  of  these  old  milldams  were 
strongly  constructed  and  even  the  immense  force  of  successive 
floods  has  failed  to  remove  the  large  boulders  which  were  used  in 
their  construction,  among  those  being  that  at  the  Louck  mill.  In 
1814  Tyrone  Township  alone  had  eighteen  such  mills.  Later  the 
steam  mill  with  its  circular  saw  largely  did  the  work  of  these  more 
primitive  mills. 

The  date  of  the  probable  entry  into  Perry  County  forests  of  the 
steam  sawmill,  quoted  elsewhere  as  about  1870,  is  no  doubt  cor- 
rect, as  that  is  the  year  in  which  a  Mr.  Coulter,  of  Mechanicsburg, 
put  a  mill  in  "Allen's  Swamp,"  at  the  western  end  of  the  Cove 
Mountain,  between  that  mountain  and  Pine  Hill.  It  took  almost 
four  years  to  saw  the  lumber,  and  the  sale  of  the  outfit  took  place 
in  1874.  When  that  operation  was  started  deer  were  still  plentiful 
and  were  often  seen  by  the  woodsmen.  A  heavy  growth  of  timber 
long  covered  the  lands  which  comprise  Perry  County. 

In  the  vicinity  of  "The  Narrows,"  near  the  Rye-Carroll  Town- 
ship line,  there  were  four  of  these  up-and-down  sawmills.  They 
were  owned  by  Conrad  Brubaker,  Adam  Nace,  Henry  Sykes,  and 
Adam  Luckenbaugh.  James  Sykes  also  had  a  fulling  mill  there, 
carding  wool  and  weaving  blankets.  In  connection  with  the  settle- 
ment known  as  "The  Narrows,"  the  change  in  population  might 
be  noted  here.  Between  forty  and  fifty  persons  then  resided  there, 
while  to-day  there  is  one  lone  house. 

That  part  of  Perry  County  which  included  present  Juniata 
Township  and  which  in  1795  included  all  of  Tuscarora  and  Oliver, 
and  parts  of  Centre  and  Miller  Townships,  was  once  heavily 
wooded.  In  the  assessment  lists  of  that  year  twelve  sawmills  were 
enumerated.  There  were  also  two  gristmills,  two  tanyards  and 
two  distilleries,  the  latter  both  operated  by  George  Hildebrand. 
With  the  cutting  of  the  timber  came  the  development  of  the  land. 

Sixty  years  ago  there  were  at  least  three  sawmills  on  Sugar  Run, 
the  small  stream  which  empties  into  the  Juniata  opposite  Cocola- 
mus  Creek.  All  did  considerable  business,  yet  to-day  there  seems 
to  be  hardly  enough  water  there  to  turn  a  wheel. 

Fulling  Mills. 

On  a  previous  page  of  this  chapter,  in  connection  with  the  Bixler 
gristmill,  is  a  description  of  the  Bixler  fulling  mill,  which  was  but 
one  of  a  number  of   fulling  mills  located  throughout  the  county, 


where  wool  was  carded  and  clothing  manufactured.  Mention  of 
these  mills  is  made  in  the  various  chapters  relating'  to  the  townships 
in  which  they  were  located.  One  of  these  mills  was  operand  by 
George  Gutshall,  at  New  Germantown,  he  also  having  a  chopping 
mill,  lie  was  the  grandfather  of  Mrs.  Wilson  Morrison,  yet  living 
in  that  town,  who  remembers  how  they  "carded  wool  into  round 
rolls  almost  a  yard  in  length,  from  which  the  women  spun  the 
yarn."  Homespun  clothing  was  then  in  general  use.  Mrs.  Mor- 
rison also  tells  of  how  they  sowed  flax,  pulled,  dried  and  threshed 
it,  using  a  "flax-break"  to  divest  it  of  the  outside  shell.  Although 
hut  a  young  girl  she  helped  in  this  work. 

"Stills"  and  Distilllriks. 

At  an  early  day,  before  the  coming  of  the  canal  and  the  rail- 
roads, the  surplus  products  of  the  farms  in  the  line  of  grains  and 
fruits  were  distilled  into  liquors.  Fruits  when  ripe,  had  either  to 
be  dried  or  distilled  into  liquors  for  preservation.  Surrounded 
by  these  conditions  the  pioneers  would  either  erect  stills  or  take 
their  apples  and  peaches,  usually  loaded  in  large  English  wagon- 
beds  which  held  from  forty  to  eighty  bushels,  and  have  them  dis- 
tilled into  brandy  and  applejack,  for  which  the  distiller  received 
one-half  the  product.  It  was  not  unusual  to  see  a  long  line  of 
wagons  awaiting  their  turn  at  these  distilleries.  Grains  were  also 
distilled  into  liquors,  as  the  product  in  that  condensed  form  re- 
quired far  fewer  trips  to  the  far-away  Baltimore  market.  There 
was  also  a  demand  for  these  products  and  the  state  even  made  con- 
cessions to  encourage  the  industry,  which  has  long  since  passed  out 
of  Perry  County  life,  and  which  the  Eighteenth  Amendment  to  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States  this  year — -1920 — eliminated  for 
all  time. 

Owing  to  these  conditions  the  Perry  County  territory  teemed 
with  "stills"  and  distilleries.  As  early  as  1814  Tyrone  Township 
alone  had  seventeen  stills  on  the  assessment  roll.  Liquor  seems  to 
have  been  in  very  general  use  during  that  early  period  and  the  price 
was  extremely  low.  Rye  whiskey  sold  from  thirty-three  to  thirty- 
seven  cents  a  gallon.  Peach  brandy  was  quoted  at  the  same  prices, 
and  applejack  at  twenty-five  cents  per  gallon. 

The  locations  of  many. of  these  old  stills  are  to  be  seen  or  are 
pointed  out  by  the  residents.  They  were  principally  in  western 
Perry  and  in  a  few  instances  the  stillhouses  are  still  standing. 
The  one  on  the  Lucian  R.  McMillen  farm  at  Kistler,  Madison 
Township,  is  in  good  repair,  and  those  at  the  Rice  mill,  in  Tyrone 
Township,  and  Manassas  Gap,  three  miles  south  of  Blain,  in  Jack- 
son Township,  still  stand.     A  partial  list  of  locations  follow: 

On  the  old  Shearer  farm,  now  owned  by  David  Beaston,  above  Mc- 
Laughlin's, in  Toboyne  Townsbip. 


On  the  James  Johnston  farm,  in  Toboyne  Township,  one  mile  above 
New  Germantown. 

On  the  farm  of  Clark  Bower,  in  Jackson  Township. 

At  Manassas  Gap,  three  miles  south  of  Plain.  Operated  by  Philip 
Stambaugh  about  1830.  The  building  still  stands  on  the  property  of  David 
Rowe,  Jr. 

The  Hackett  distillery  on  Reisinger  Brothers'  farm,  in  Madison  Town 
ship,  at  a  place  locally  known  as  Pine  Grove,  near  Kistler. 
A  half-mile  west  of  Blain. 
On  the  J.  E.  Lyons  farm,  at  Andersonburg. 

The  stone  distillery  on  the  Lucian  R.  McMillen  farm  at  Kistler,  Madison 
Township.     In  good  condition. 

On  George  Palm  farm,  one  and  one-half  miles  east  of  Kistler. 
Near  the  Lutheran  Church  at  Saville,  Saville  Township. 
The  Conrad  Ernest  still  at  Stony  Point,  three  miles  east  of  Blain. 
At  Kistler,  just  west  of  the  Lutheran  Church. 

On  the  J.  S.  Lightner  farm,  one  and  one-half  miles  southeast  of  Cisna's 

The  Baughman  distillery,  near  Rock  schoolhouse,  in   Saville  Township. 
Near  the  M.  E.  Chapel  in  Madison  Township. 
One  on  the  W.  Scott  Irvine  farm,  in  Saville  Township. 
On  the  John  and   Solomon   Briner  farm  on   Sherman's  Creek,  one  and 
one-half  miles  south  of  Loysville,  now  owned  by  Edward  Briner. 

On  Montour's  Run  at  Rice's  mill,  near  where  it  joins  Sherman's  Creek. 
It  still  stands. 

The  Wagner  still,  later  Egolf's,  in  lower  Kennedy's  Valley,  Tyrone 
Township.    In  business  as  late  as  1868. 

Keek's  distillery,  on  the  Adam  Wentzcl  farm  at  Bridgeport,  in  Spring 
Township.  It  burned  in  1874,  but  had  ceased  operations  a  few  years 

On  the  Joseph  Lightner  place,  "Still  House  Hollow,"  Tyrone  Township. 
In  Landisburg,  near  Water  Street. 

(  )n  the  Junkin  place  in  Spring  Township,  now  owned  by  George  Duni. 
On  the  farm  of  Samuel  Ebert,  north  of  the  Tressler  Orphans'  Home. 
At  Elliottsburg,  in  Spring  Township. 

Near  Jackson  schoolhouse  in  Saville  Township,  about  a  mile  north  of 

In  "Little  Germany,"  Spring  Township,  built  by  John  Fuas   (Foose). 
On  property  of  S.  W.  Moyer,  a  short  distance  east  of  Elliottsburg. 
On  the  Abraham  Bower  farm,  at  Falling  Springs. 

On  Swartz  farm,  west  of  New  Bloomfield,  south  of  former  steam  mill. 
On  the  J.  L.  Kline  farm,  in  Liverpool  Township's  eastern  extremity. 
On  the  steam  mill  property,  below  Liverpool,  a  distillery  was  in  opera- 
tion as  late  as  1869.  The  property  is  now  owned  by  Mrs.  John  Williamson. 
At  Mt.  Patrick,  on  the  western  bank  of  the  creek  from  the  gristmill, 
long  known  as  the  Blattenberger  mill,  now  Barner's. 

On  the  J.  R.  Wright  farm  in  Greenwood  Township.  This  is  the  prop- 
erty which  was  once  owned  by  Rev.  Britton  E.  Collins,  but,  of  course,  he 
was  not  the  operator  of  a  distillery,  but  had  only  purchased  a  farm  on 
which  one  had  been  located. 

At  Falling  Springs,  in  Spring  Township,  where  Abraham  Bower  re- 
sided and  operated  it. 

Between  Pine  Hill  and  Sherman's  Creek,  at  Billow's  old  fording. 
Sponsler's   distillery.   New   Bloomfield,   site  of   foundry,   Carlisle   Street. 
Along  Little  Buffalo  Creek,  in  Juniata  Township,  owned  and  operated 
by  Abram  Flurie. 


The  Tanning  Industry. 

The  tunning  of  leather  dates  back  to  the  time  of  the  red  men, 
whose  product  was  so  finely  tanned  that  one  of  Perry  County's 
greatest  tanners  tells  us  it  has  never  been  equaled  by  the  whites. 
Accidentally  discovered  by  letting  a  hide  lie  among  some  oak  hark 
over  winter  the  Indians  experimented  until  they  had  perfected  a 
system.  Their  most  delicate  work  was  produced  by  using  the 
brains  of  the  deer.  A  history  of  this  little  mountain-bound  county 
without  something  of  its  tanning  industry  and  mention  of  the  tan- 
ner's apprentice  who  became  Pennsylvania's  most  noted  journalist 
and  a  national  figure  (Col.  A.  K.  McClure),  would  not  be  a  his- 
tory at  all.  At  first  the  tanneries  followed  the  bark  to  be  used  in 
tanning,  locating  in  the  very  midst  of  the  forests,  but  later  the 
bark  followed  the  tanneries,  as  they  were  located  along  the  trans- 
portation lines,  many  of  the  inland  tanneries  going  out  of  ex- 

The  tanning  industry  in  America  is,  in  fact,  one  of  the  original 
industries,  and  was  from  the  early  days  one  of  the  vocations  of 
the  pioneers.  Perry  County  at  one  time  was  among  the  leading 
counties  of  the  state  in  the  tanning  business,  and  had  tanneries  in 
many  localities,  but  to-day  only  three  remain,  the  Beaver  tannery, 
near  Blain,  the  Bechtel  tannery  at  Newport,  and  the  Rippman  tan- 
nery at  Millerstown.  Although  some  of  these  tanneries  are  out  of 
existence  for  a  half-century  an  attempt  has  been  made  to  record 
their  locations,  in  so  far  as  possible : 

Ahl's  tannery,  in  Henry's  Valley,  Toboyne  Township.  Samuel  Lupfer 
ran  it  for  years. 

Tannery  one  mile  above  Fairview  Church,  in  Toboyne  Township,  now 
run  as  a  chopping  mill.  Once  owned  by  E.  A.  McLaughlin,  now  by  Samuel 

Tannery  in  New  Germantown,  in  Toboyne  Township,  near  where  M.  E. 
Church  stands.    Once  owned  by  William  D.  Humes. 

Beaver  tannery  at  Monterey,  Toboyne  Township.  Israel  Lupfer  ran  it 
for  years.  One  of  the  three  tanneries  still  in  operation.  Now  owned  by 
Silas  W.  Gutshall. 

Cook's  tannery,  in  Horse  Valley,  Toboyne  Township,  near  church. 

Tannery  in  Henry's  Valley. 

Mohler's  tannery  in  Liberty  Valley,  Madison  Township.  Built  by  Mil- 
ligan  &  Beale. 

The  McNeil  tannery  at  Blain,  on  the  Harry  N.  Hall  farm.  Burned  in 

The  George  Hench  tannery  at  Centre,  on  present  Robert  Hench  farm. 
Once  the  largest  tannery  in  the  county. 

The  Titzell  tannery,  between  Green  Park  and  Elliottsburg,  operated 
until  about  1870. 

The  Shearer  tannery,  owned  by  the  father  of  Ex-Sheriff  H.  C.  Shearer 
between  Green  Park  and  Landisburg,  in  Tyrone  Township. 

The  Hench  &  Black  tannery  in  Landisburg. 

The  Diven  tannery  in  Landisburg. 


Tannery  in  Kennedy's  Valley,  Tyrone  Township,  last  operated  by 
"Colonel"  Win.  Graham,  now  the   Newton  Reisinger  farm. 

Tannery  in  Sheaffer  Valley,  Tyrone  Township,  where  Harry  Kiner  re- 

Tannery  at  Oak  Grove,  Tyrone  Township,  recently  owned  by  Henchs, 
now  in  the  possession  of  Thomas  Bernheisel. 

The  Abraham  Wertz  tannery  in  Tyrone  Township,  on  Carlisle  road, 
three  miles   from  Landisburg,  now  the  Al.  Dnnkelberger   farm. 

Tannery  one  mile  above  Elliottsbnrg,  in  Spring  Township,  last  owned 
by  a  Mr.  Wentzell. 

Loysville  tannery,  on  property  now  owned  by  Mrs.  William  Kell. 

The  tannery  of  Daniel  A.  Bear's  heirs,  in  Spring  Township. 

The  tannery  at  Dromgold's  corner,  in  Carroll  Township,  operated  by 
T.  M.  Dromgold. 

The  Ickesburg  tannery,  erected  in  1821. 

The  tannery  above  Ickesburg,  long  known  as  the  Swartz  tannery. 

The  Eshcol  tannery,  erected  by  William  Rosensteel. 

The  tannery  at  Roseburg,  Saville  Township. 

The  Millerstown  tannery,  one  of  the  very  first.  One  of  the  three  still 
in  operation.     Now  owned  by  J.  G.  H.  and  C.  A.  Rippman,  Jr. 

The  North  tannery,  in  Greenwood  Township. 

The  Newport  tannery,  now  owned  by  the  Elk  Tanning  Company.  One 
of  the  three  still  in  operation. 

The  Jordan  tannery,  at  Walnut  and  Front  Streets,  Newport. 

The  Peale  tannery,  opposite  the  old  jail,  in  New  Bloomfield. 

Tannery  one  mile  west  of  New  Bloomfield,  operated  as  early  as  184,},  by 
Israel  Eupfer. 

The  tannery  near  Nekoda  store,  in  Greenwood  Township,  known  as 

The  tannery  at  Allen's  Cove  (later  Cove  Forge,  and  now  Covallen), 
where  A.  G.  White  (father  of  James  A.  White,  of  Shermansdale)  built 
the  Good  Hope  tannery  and  carried  on  the  tanning  business. 

The  tannery  which  John  Bowers  built  at  Mannsville  and  which  he 
operated  as  late  as  1871,  when  he  died. 

The  tannery  on  Hominy  Ridge,  Juniata  Township,  operated  by  Robert 
Stephens.  Residents  who  can  remember  to  1856  say  it  had  then  already 
ceased  to  operate.     One  stone  building  still  stands. 

The  William  Fosselman  tannery,  in  Tuscarora  Township,  later  the  prop- 
erty of  James  Davis,  and  now  owned  by  McClellan  Lineawever.  Out  of 
business  prior  to  1870. 

Before  the  building  of  the  narrow  gauge  road — the  Newport  & 
Sherman's  Valley — through  western  Perry  County,  and  after 
the  tanneries  in  western  Perry  had  largely  become  extinct,  the 
transportation  of  bark  from  that  section  to  the  Newport  tannery 
was  extensive,  and  those  old  bark  wagons  drawn  by  four-  and  six- 
horse  teams  are  well  remembered  by  many  yet  living.  During  the 
bark  season  long  lines  of  them  passed  down  the  main  valley  high- 
way daily. 

The  first  tannery  in  the  county  was  built  by  Joshua  North,  on 
the  James  Patterson  farm,  in  Greenwood  Township,  before  1800. 
The  bark  was  chopped  into  bits  with  axes  in  those  days,  instead  of 
being  ground.  This  tannery  was  later  known  as  Jordan's.  Just 
when   North  built  the  tannery  is  unknown,  but  in   1776  Joshua 


North,  tanner,  and  Caleb  North,  storekeeper,  came  from  Chester 
County  and  bought  a  number  of  tracts  of  land,  including  the  old 
tannery  farm.  It  probably  was  built  soon  after  that.  The  Norths 
also  bought  the  island  in  the  Juniata,  long  known  as  North's  Is- 
land, and  being  located  at  the  old  Rope  Ferry  Dam.  In  1800 
[oshua  North  built  the  MillerstQwn  tannery,  selling  to  Isaac  Mc- 
Cord  in  1816.  During  the  ownership  of  Mr.  McCord  he  also 
bought  the  Jordan  tannery  and  closed  it  down.  He  also  erected 
the  stone  house,  which  is  the  present  home  of  J.  H.  G.  Rippman, 
in  1822.  and  began  the  erection  of  a  new  tannery  in  tSj_j.  In 
1849  Henry  Hopple  purchased  the  plant  from  the  McCord  heirs 
for  $2,500.  and  modernized  it  by  the  introduction  of  steam  in  1867. 
Two  years  later  he  sold  it  to  Joseph  Howell,  of  Philadelphia,  for 
$6,000.00.  He  erected  a  new  steam  tannery  in  1870.  In  the  mean- 
time it  had  become  Howell  &  Company,  who  were  overcome  with 
financial  difficulties,  and  the  property  was  purchased  in  1882  by 
Charles  A.  Rippman.  a  skilled  tanner  and  business  man,  at 
assignee's  sale.  He  put  in  modern  leeches  and  modernized  it 
throughout  with  improved  machinery.  In  1901  Mr.  Rippman  sold 
it  to  two  of  his  sons,  J.  G.  H.  and  C.  A.  Rippman,  Jr.,  who  are 
the  owners  at  this  time.  This  tannery  has  two  claims  to  distinc- 
tion. One  is  that  it  was  awarded  the  highest  award  for  its  product 
— oak  tanned  sole  leather,  at  the  World's  Fair  at  Chicago  in  1893, 
and  the  other  is  that  it  is  an  independent  concern,  altogether  within 
the  control  of  its  owners.  Few  tanneries  to-day  lay  claim  to  that 
distinction.  Charles  H.  Rippman  has  been  identified  with  the  tan- 
ning trade  in  Perry  County  longer  than  any  other  man,  and  his 
product  had  a  state- wide  reputation. 

The  Beaver  tannery  is  located  in  Jackson  Township,  two  miles 
south  of  Blain.  It  was  established  prior  to  1835  by  a  man  named 
Ebright,  and  has  been  in  continuous  operation  ever  since,  being  the 
only  inland  tannery  in  the  county  from  among  the  large  number  to 
remain  in  operation.  The  present  tannery  building  was  erected  in 
[849  by  Samuel  Mateer.  The  output  is  rough  leather,  harness 
leather  and  lace  leather.  This  tannery  has  been  operated  by  three 
generations  of  Gutshalls.  Capt.  Samuel  Gutshall  owned  and 
operated  it  for  some  time  prior  to  i860.  His  son,  David  Gutshall. 
then  became  owner  and  operated  it  until  1806,  when  the  present 
owner,  Silas  W.  Gutshall,  assumed  charge,  since  which  time  he 
has  operated  it. 

The  Newport  tannery  dates  back  to  1872.  when  John  A.  Bechtel 
&  Son  purchased  a  plot  of  three  acres  of  land  in  Oliver  Township, 
adjoining  Newport  Borough  on  the  west,  and  extending  from 
Third  to  Front  Street.  This  part  of  the  township  has  since  been 
taken  into  the  Newport  Borough.  The  Bechtels  erected  on  this 
site  a  two-story  stone  tannery,  which  is  still  in  use  and  now  owned 


by  the  Elk  Tanning  Company,  Ridgway,  Pa.  John  A.  Bechtel 
died  in  1875,  and  the  business  was  then  conducted  by  the  remaining 
member  of  the  firm,  his  son,  H.  H.  Bechtel.  After  the  sale  of  this 
tannery  (and  another  which  he  owned  at  Reed's  Gap)  to  the  Elk 
Tanning  Company  in  1893,  he  became  associated  with  the  Ameri- 
can Oak  Leather  Company  of  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  and  at  the  time  of 
his  death,  July  13,  1914,  was  vice-president  of  that  company. 
Horace  Beard,  who  was  a  grandson  of  John  A.  Bechtel,  was  the 
first  superintendent  appointed  by  the  Elk  Tanning  Company,  serv- 
ing from  1893  to  1900,  when  he  became  division  superintendent 
of  a  group  of  tanneries,  including  the  Newport  tannery,  which  he 
held  until  his  death,  April  7,  1911.  Edward  G.  Sheaf er  succeeded 
Mr.  Beard  as  superintendent  from  1900  to  1914,  when  he  was 
transferred  to  a  Southern  tannery,  and  John  G.  Culver  appointed 
superintendent,  serving  from  1914  to  1916.  Mr.  Culver  was  suc- 
ceeded by  George  P.  Bistline,  a  native  of  Perry  County,  who  is 
the  present  superintendent.  This  tannery  increased  its  capacity 
and  has  been  kept  in  first-class  condition,  employing  a  large  num- 
ber of  men  steadily  from  the  time  of  its  erection.  It  has  been  idle 
only  sixty  days  since  its  erection  in  1872.  Oak  tanned  sole  leather 
has  always  been  manufactured  at  this  plant,  and  from  4,000  to 
5,000  tons  of  rock  oak  bark  are  consumed  annually,  most  of  which 
is  purchased  in  Perry  and  surrounding  counties. 

Quite  a  number  of  the  employees  have  worked  in  the  tannery 
for  a  long  period  of  years,  four  men  having  an  average  of  over 
forty  years'  service.  While  labor  troubles  throughout  the  country 
prevail  this  is  a  matter  of  interest.  Two  of  these  employees  have 
been  with  it  over  forty-five  years  and  two  others  over  thirty-five, 
at  this  time  (1920).  These  men  and  their  length  of  service  are 
George  W.  Taylor,  48  years ;  James  Gardner,  46  years ;  George 
Shull,  y]  years,  and  William  Gardner,  37  years. 

Early  Iron  Industry. 

There  is  a  Jewish  legend  that  when  the  temple  at  Jerusalem  was 
completed  the  king  gave  a  feast  to  the  workmen  and  artificers  em- 
ployed in  its  construction.  The  story  went  abroad  that  the  par- 
ticular craftsman  who  had  done  the  most  to  complete  the  great 
structure  should  have  the  seat  of  honor  next  to  the  king.  A  black- 
smith claimed  the  place  and  the  populace  clamored.  The  great 
Solomon  commanded  that  the  man  be  allowed  to  speak,  whereupon 
he  asked  how  these  builders  could  have  erected  the  temple  without 
the  tools  which  he  had  wrought  out  of  iron.  Solomon  decreed 
that  "the  seat  is  his  of  right;  all  honor  to  the  iron  worker."  Dur- 
ing a  residence,  while  a  newspaper  proprietor,  of  more  than  a 
dozen  years  in  Duncannon,  the  one  iron  town  in  Perry  County,  1 
saw  men  toil  amidst  red-hot  furnaces,  while  others  slept,  to  pro- 


duce  iron  from  the  raw  material.  The  scene  is  so  vivid  in  my 
memory  to  this  day  that  I  join  in  saying  "all  honor  to  the  iron 
worker,"  and  especially  those  early  pioneers,  who  wrought  better 
than  they  knew,  who  established  primitive  plants  within  the  con- 
hues  of  our  forests  and  who  were  the  heralds  of  the  present  great 
iron  and  steel  industry  of  the  nation. 

The  very  first  one  of  these  primitive  plants  within  the  county's 
boundaries,  of  which  we  can  find  record,  is  the  Boyd  forge,  in 
Carroll  Township.  In  1793  William  Boyd  warranted  105  acres 
in  eastern  Carroll,  at  Boyd's  Fording,  and  settled  there.  He 
erected  several  blacksmith  forges  and  began  the  manufacture  of 
nails.  The  iron  was  brought  from  Carlisle  and  slit  by  him  into 
rods,  and  by  himself  and  his  three  sons  manufactured  into  hand- 
made nails.  This  plant  was  still  in  operation  when  the  county 
was  formed. 

As  early  as  1804  there  is  record  of  the  Lewis  forge,  located  on 
Cocolamus  Creek,  in  Greenwood  Township,  near  Millerstown,  be- 
ing in  operation.  Its  employees  were  mostly  negroes  who  lived 
in  a  colony  of  huts  surrounding  the  plant.  In  describing  it  in  his 
history  (1873)  Wright  says:  "The  old  forge  hammer,  broken 
through  the  eye,  still  remains  in  the  dried-up  race,  while  the  stone 
abutment  breastwork  of  the  dam,  on  the  east  side  of  the  creek, 
may  still  be  seen."  It  was  known  as  Mt.  Vernon  forge  and  was 
built  by  General  James  Lewis  in  1804. 

General  Lewis  was  one  of  the  proprietors  of  Hope  furnace, 
west  of  Lewistown,  and  operated  the  Mt.  Vernon  forge  in  con- 
nection with  it.  He  was  a  Berks  County  ironmaster,  and  James 
Blaine,  of  the  vicinity  of  Blain,  Perry  County,  was  married  to  his 
daughter.  In  fact,  Mr.  Blaine  helped  him  build  Hope  furnace  in 
1797  and  Mt.  Vernon  furnace  in  1804.  On  the  retirement  of  Mr. 
Lewis,  Mr.  Blaine  operated  the  forge.  He  later  sold  to  a  man 
named  M'Gara,  who  failed,  the  property  coming  into  the  posses- 
sion of  Purcell  &  Woods.  William  P.  Elliott  and  William  Power 
purchased  from  them  and  rebuilt  the  forge,  but  failed  in  1X17, 
and  the  property  reverted  to  Purcell  &  Woods.  From  then  it  was 
never  operated.  The  forge  had  two  fires  and  two  large  hammers, 
which  were  supplied  with  charcoal  from  Forge  Hill  and  pig  metal 
from  Hope  furnace  and  Juniata  furnace  in  Centre  Township. 

Landisburg  was  the  site  of  an  early  nail  factory.  It  was  located 
on  Water  Street,  in  the  rear  part  of  a  building  started  in  1794 
and  not  completed  until  1809.  The  front  part  is  of  stone,  and  the 
rear  was  built  of  logs.  It  is  now  owned  by  Mrs.  Robert  Shuman, 
and  in  it  was  located  the  office  of  the  register  and  recorder  when 
Landisburg  was  the  temporary  county  seat.  Just  when  the  factory 
moyed  therefrom  is  not  known,  but  in  the  Perry  Forester  of  June 
21,  1 82 1,  appears  the  advertisement  of  the  manufacturer,  Joseph 


H.  Kennedy,  who  offers  "io-penny  and  8-penny  nails  at  10  cents 
per  pound."  He  add  that  "wheat  will  be  received  at  40  cents,  and 
rye  at  27  cents,  in  exchange." 

The  various  chapters  of  this  book  covering  the  townships  tell 
of  many  early  industries,  among  them  the  construction  of  a  scythe 
and  edge-tool  factory  by  Peter  Fahnestock  and  a  Mr.  Ferguson, 
during  the  period  between  1830- 1840.  It  was  located  in  Tyrone 
Township  and  had  also  a  tilt-hammer  attached.  Between  Landis- 
burg  and  Oak  Grove,  in  Spring  Township,  Peter  Moses  built  a 
large  stone  blacksmith  shop  and  manufactured  screw  augers.  At 
his  death,  in  1824,  his  son,  also  named  Peter  Moses,  succeeded  him. 

During  the  first  half  of  the  Nineteenth  Century  various  furnaces 
and  forges  were  erected  throughout  the  county,  but  near  its  end 
but  two  remained  in  business,  the  furnaces  at  Duncannon  and 
Newport.  At  this  time  but  one,  the  Newport  furnace,  remains, 
and  it  is  in  operation  but  a  small  part  of  the  time.  The  first  of 
these  furnaces  to  be  built  was  the  Juniata  furnace.  The  inland 
furnaces  ceased  operations  owing  to  the  expensive  hauls  of  the 
finished  product  to  railroad  sidings,  and  the  Duncannon  furnace 
was  dismantled  owing  to  the  necessity  of  obtaining  the  raw  ma- 
terials from  far  distant  points  at  heavy  cost.  The  first  geological 
survey  of  Perry  County,  made  in  1839-40,  was  largely  responsible 
for  the  extension  of  the  early  furnace  industry  in  Perry  and  ad- 
joining counties,  as  the  existence  of  deposits  of  iron  ore  was  fully 
established  at  that  time. 

Juniata  Furnace.  The  lands  upon  which  Juniata  furnace  in 
Centre  Township,  was  later  erected,  were  warranted  by  James 
McConaughy  in  1766,  and  later  became  the  property  of  William 
Power,  then  a  large  landowner  in  what  is  now  Perry  County. 
About  1808  Power  and  David  Watts,  of  Carlisle,  erected,  on  a 
small  stream  which  flows  through  the  property,  a  small  furnace, 
which  later  came  to  be  known  as  Juniata  furnace.  They  operated 
it  for  several  years,  and  in  1824  the  Watts  heirs  and  Power  leased 
the  furnace  to  John  Everhart,  of  Chester  County,  for  a  ten-year 
period.  He  erected  a  forge,  and  in  1825  put  the  furnace  in  blast, 
continuing  operations  for  several  years. 

During  May,  1833.  Charles  Postley  &  Son,  of  Philadelphia,  pur- 
chased the  furnace  property  and  3,500  acres  of  land,  which  in- 
cluded a  gristmill  at  the  mouth  of  the  run,  paying  therefor  $19,500. 
During  January,  1834,  Postley  &  Company  advertised  for  "six- 
teen stone  and  four  potter  hollowware  moulders  to  work  at  the 
[uniata  Iron  Works."  From  Postley  title  had  passed  entirely  to 
his  sons,  who  sold  it  to  John  McKeehan  and  Matthew  S.  Henry 
in  1837.  In  a  year  or  two  James  McGowan  acquired  the  interest 
of  Henry.  Another  furnace  had  been  added  further  up  the 
stream,   and   under   McGowan's  supervision   both   furnaces   were 


operated.  This  firm  built  the  gristmill,  which  later  came  to  be 
known  as  Shoaff's  mill. 

There  was  a  large  ore  bank  on  the  tract.  A  settlement  had 
grown  up  around  it.  comprising  eleven  tenement  houses,  coal 
house,  storehouse,  warehouse,  carpenter  shop,  blacksmith  shop  and 
the  gristmill.  About  184c;  the  furnace  was  abandoned  and  the  mill 
passed  to  the  ownership  of  William  R.  Shoaff.  In  1855  the  cast- 
ing house  and  the  office  were  destroyed  by  a  cyclone  which  hit  the 
section.  The  property  is  now  in  possession  of  Ellis  Shoaff",  the 
mill  having  long  since  ceased  operations. 

Flo  Forge.  Fio  forge,  in  Wheat  field  Township,  was  built  on 
a  plot  of  ground  which  was  warranted  in  1766  by  Benjamin 
Abram  and  which  contained  207  acres.  In  1827  Israel  Downing 
and  James  B.  Davis  purchased  twenty-three  acres  and  began  the 
erection  of  the  forge,  which  they  had  almost  completed  in  July, 

1828,  when  they  sold  to  Jacob  Lindley  and  Frederick  Speck.  They 
owned  and  operated  it  until  1841,  when  it  passed  to  Elias  Jackson, 
Samuel  Yocum,  and  Daniel  Kough,  who  at  the  same  time  operated 
Mary  Ann  furnace  in  Cumberland  County.  It  later  passed  to  a 
man  named  Walker,  who  retained  Kough  as  manager.  On  March 
14.  1846,  a  great  flood  on  Sherman's  Creek  carried  away  the  dam 
and  the  plant  was  abandoned. 

Oak  Grove  Furnace.  Oak  Grove  furnace  was  located  in  Spring 
Township  on  a  tract  of  land  purchased  from  Christian  Hecken- 
dorn,  in  February,  1827,  by  Adam  and  John  Hays.  In  a  paper 
dated  October,  1825,  Heckendorn  advertised  three  hundred  acres 
of  land  for  sale,  describing  it  as  an  excellent  location  for  a  fur- 
nace, having  ore  within  a  half-mile.  The  new  owners  contracted 
with  John  Miller  February  20,  1827,  for  "the  right  for  twenty- 
one  years  to  dig  and  haul  iron  ore  from  any  part  of  land  on  which 
Miller  lives  and  has  his  tanyard,  at  twenty  dollars  per  year  for 
every  year  they  dig  ore."  On  March  16th  of  the  same  year  they 
contracted  with  Thomas  March  and  John  Souder  to  pay  each  fif- 
teen dollars  per  year  for  a  like  privilege.  During  the  same  year 
they  built  Charlotte  furnace,  it  being  put  in  blast  on  December  4, 
1827,  under  the  management  of  Colonel  George  Patterson.  It  was 
operated  until  1828,  its  capacity  being  twenty-five  tons  of  metal 
per  week. 

It  was  refitted  during   1828-29  and   was  again  put  in  blast   in 

1829,  its  name  being  changed  to  Oak  Grove  furnace.  It  passed 
from  the  ownership  of  Adam  and  John  Hays  to  that  of  Hays  & 
McClure,  John  Hays  remaining  in  the  firm.  In  1831  a  post  office 
was  established  there  with  John  Hays  as  postmaster.  In  the  mean- 
time McClure  retired  from  the  management  and  John  Hays  con- 
tinued until  January  6,  1834,  when  he  sold  the  furnace,  his  ore 
rights  and  2,500  acres  of  land  to  Jacob  F.  Plies,  for  $22,000.     It 



was  later  under  the  ownership  of  Plies,  Hess  &  Company  and  of 
Jacob  F.  Plies  &  Company,  the  latter  company  being  composed  of 
Christian  Thudium  and  Frederick  Boger.  It  was  abandoned  about 
1843  and  the  property  passed  to  Christian  Thudium.  With  its 
passing  also  passed  the  post  office,  but  many  years  later  another 
was  established  near  by  and  was  known  as  "Lebo."  The  James 
McCormick  heirs  obtained  possession  of  the  property  and  owned 
it  for  many  years.  During  the  ownership  of  both  Hays  and  Plies 
plates  were  manufactured  or  cast  here  for  the  old-fashioned  "ten- 
plate  stoves." 

Montebello  Furnace.  The  old  Montebello  furnace,  in  Wheat- 
field  Township,  was  located  on  a  tract  of  land  warranted  by  Wil- 
liam Baskins  in  1766,  which  contained  238  acres.  Its  location  was 
on  Little  Juniata  Creek,  several  miles  above  King's  mill,  and  near 
where  Montebello  Park,  a  popular  amusement  resort  flourished 
during  the  early  days  of  the  Perry  County  Railroad.  In  1834 
Jacob  Lindley,  Elizabeth  and  Hannah  Downing  and  William 
Logan  Fisher  purchased  this  and  an  adjoining  tract,  "for  the  pur- 
pose of  building  a  furnace  thereon."  It  was  built  in  a  year  or  two, 
and  after  a  few  years  passed  to  Fisher,  Morgan  &  Company,  who 
operated  it  until  1846  or  1848,  when  it  was  abandoned.  It  had  a 
capacity  of  from  twenty-five  to  thirty  tons  of  iron  per  week. 
When  the  latter  firm  secured  possession  it  was  run  in  connection 
with  the  Duncannon  iron  plant,  then  owned  by  the  same  firm. 
They  built  a  stave  mill  near  the  forge,  which  was  in  use  until  1875, 
when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire.  The  company  owned  and  leased 
large  timber  tracts,  from  which  the  wood  was  cut  and  used  for  the 
burning  of  charcoal.  The  limestone  and  ore  was  hauled  in  wagons 
from  the  canal  wharf  at  Losh's  Run  Station,  on  the  Pennsylvania 
Railroad,  and  the  finished  product  transported  in  the  same  way  to 
the  firm's  Duncannon  plant.  In  April,  1837,  when  the  entire 
Mahanoy  Ridge  burned  over  the  industry  lost  three  thousand 
cords  of  wood  by  fire.  The  Forester  pronounced  this  conflagra- 
tion "a  grand  and  imposing  spectacle,"  instead  of  speaking  of  the 
great  loss. 

Perry  Furnace.  Perry  furnace  was  located  on  a  tract  of  land 
warranted  by  Anthony  Shatto,  which  later  came  into  the  possession 
of  William  Power.  In  1837  Jacob  Loy,  John  Everhart,  and  John 
Rough,  trading  under  the  name  of  Loy,  Everhart  &  Company, 
purchased  several  hundred  acres  of  land  and  erected  Perry  fur- 
nace, where  they  began  the  manufacture  of  hollowware  and  ten- 
plate  stoves.  After  running  the  plant  for  ten  years  they  had  finan- 
cial difficulties  and  the  property  was  sold  to  Peter  Cameron.  The 
barn  of  Edward  Comp  is  located  on  the  site  of  the  old  furnace. 

Perry  furnace  was  abandoned  about  1S48.  During  its  operation 
the  timber  was  cut  from  a  piece  of  woodland  about  three  miles 


long  and  over  a  mile  wide,  and  burned  into  charcoal.  The  iron 
ore  mostly  was  procured  at  the  Dum  farm,  in  that  section  of 
Spring  Township  known  as  "Little  Germany."  After  being  re- 
duced to  "pig  iron"  it  was  hauled  overland  by  wagon  to  the  Dun- 
cannon  rolling  mills,  a  distance  of  twelve  miles.  The  limestone 
used  in  melting  the  ore  was  secured  on  the  furnace  farm.  At  one 
time  a  village  of  a  dozen  houses  was  located  there,  being  occupied 
by  the  employees.  On  a  single  acre  of  ground  there  are  nine 
springs,  any  one  of  which  would  be  ample  to  supply  a  single  farm 
with  water.     Half  of  them  are  phosphorous. 

Caroline  Furnace.  Travelers  over  the  lines  of  the  Pennsylvania 
Railroad  will  note  that  there  stands  not  many  rods  east  of  Bailey 
Station  a  stone  stack  almost  overgrown  with  vines.  It  is  a  mute 
reminder  of  the  early  furnace  industry  of  Pennsylvania.  There 
stood  Caroline  furnace.  Even  the  very  lands  on  which  it  stood 
have  a  historical  setting.  Samuel  Martin,  who  located  this  claim 
of  two  hundred  acres,  on  a  part  of  which  later  stood  Caroline  fur- 
nace, also  warranted  an  extensive  acreage  on  the  northern  side  of 
the  Juniata,  on  which  he  built  a  gristmill  and  a  sawmill.  The  prop- 
erty is  described  as  being  "at  the  Upper  Falls,  below  the  great  bend 
south  of  Newport."  John  Bowman  had  evidently  some  prior  claim 
on  the  property  at  Bailey  Station,  in  Miller  Township,  as  it  is  re- 
ferred to  in  Samuel  Martin's  will  as  the  property  purchased  of  him. 
In  a  mortgage  it  is  mentioned  as  "above  the  Falls,  adjoining  Dick's 
Hill."  Caroline  furnace  was  erected  by  John  D.  Creigh  in  1836, 
and  began  operations  the  same  year.  It  later  came-into  the  1  Mis- 
session  of  Joseph  Bailey,  later  a  congressman  of  the  United  Stales. 
His  residence,  with  numerous  additions,  still  stands.  Very  little 
seems  to  have  been  recorded  of  this  old  industry. 

Cove  Forge.  About  1863  several  hundred  acres  of  land  were 
purchased  in  the  Cove,  Penn  Township,  about  one  and  one-half 
miles  east  of  Duncannon,  by  Wm.  Mcllvaine  &  Sons,  of  Reading, 
who  in  April,  1864,  began  the  erection  of  a  forge,  long  known  as 
Cove  forge.  It  was  put  in  blast  in  September,  1865,  with  six  fires, 
being  run  by  water-power.  A  sexton  hammer  was  operated  by 
steam.  On  their  lands  they  made  charcoal  for  use  in  their  own 
furnaces.  It  was  operated  for  about  twenty  years.  The  large 
dam  erected  above  the  plant  was  put  in  by  this  firm,  the  lands  now 
being  owned  by  Robert  C.  Neal,  whose  father,  Robert  C.  Neal, 
a  Harrisburg  capitalist,  erected  a  fine  mansion  on  the  property, 
turning  it  into  a  gentleman's  country  estate.  It  was  located  upon 
the  original  Thomas  Barnett  tract,  described  in  the  chapter  relat- 
ing to  Penn  Township.  The  local  passenger  station  was  long 
known  as  Cove  Forge,  but  within  the  past  decade  it  has  been 
changed  to  Covallen,  significant  of  Allen's  Cove,  long  the  name 
by  which  the  Cove  was  known. 


The  Duncannon  Iron  Works.  The  location  of  this  plant  is  at 
the  point  of  land  lying  just  north  of  where  Sherman's  Creek  enters 
the  Susquehanna.  It  is  on  part  of  a  tract  of  220  acres,  warranted 
June  2,  1762,  to  George  Allen  and  surveyed  to  Robert  Jones.  In 
1827  it  passed  to  Stephen  Duncan  and  John  D.  Mahon,  who  imme- 
diately began  the  erection  of  a  forge,  which  began  operations  in 
the  summer  of  1828.  In  February  of  the  same  year  the  firm 
bought  ninety-four  acres  and  the  lower  gristmill,  a  sawmill,  and  a 
distillery  from  Robert  Clark,  and  on  April  17  they  purchased  1,231 
acres  of  land,  comprised  in  three  different  tracts,  from  Andrew 
Mateer.  The  firm's  advertisement  called  for  men  to  go  to  work 
on  July  31,  1828.  The  little  plant  run  until  July  9,  1829,  when  it 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  the  loss  being  stated  as  from  $1,500  to 
$2,000.  It  was  at  once  rebuilt  and  in  operation  by  December 
•  if  the  same  year.  The  firm  of  Duncan  &  Mahon  then  operated 
the  forge  until  1832  or  1833,  when  they  leased  it  to  John  Johnston 
&  Company,  who  also  operated  and  were  the  owners  of  Chestnut 
Grove  forge,  in  Adams  County.  This  firm  then  operated  it  until 
the  dissolution  of  the  firm  in  September,  1834.  The  stock  on  hand 
was  disposed  of  by  public  sale  early  in  1835  and  in  the  spring  of 
1836  the  property  of  Duncan  &  Mahon  passed  to  William  Logan 
Fisher  and  Charles  W.  Morgan.  It  included  the  forge,  which  they 
operated  for  a  short  time,  and  about  six  thousand  acres  of  land, 
mostly  timber  land. 

This  firm  was  the  forerunner  of  the  Duncannon  Iron  Company. 
They  erected  the  old  rolling  mill  in  1837-38,  on  the  site  of  the  old 
forge,  which  they  tore  down.  This  first  rolling  mill  was  rather 
primitive,  being  but  60x100  feet.  Its  capacity  was  five  thousand 
tons  of  bar  iron  per  year.  The  first  nail  factory  was  erected  by 
them  in  1839  and  began  operations  in  1840.  Prior  to  its  erection 
Fisher  &  Morgan  had  been  sending  their  bar  iron  in  flats  to  New 
Cumberland,  where  it  was  manufactured  into  nails  by  Roswell 
Woodward.  When  the  Duncannon  nail  factory  was  completed 
that  plant  was  dismantled  and  the  twenty-five  nail  machines  taken 
to  Duncannon  and  installed.  The  new  plant  then  had  a  capacity 
of  twenty  thousand  kegs  per  annum.  On  March  14,  1846,  a  flood 
coming  down  Sherman's  Creek,  washed  away  the  dam  and  part 
of  the  rolling  mill.  The  mill  and  dam  were  rebuilt.  This  flood 
also  took  the  Juniata  River  bridge  and  the  eastern  span  of  the 
Susquehanna  River  bridge.  The  furnace  was  erected  in  1853. 
Its  capacity  was  twenty  tons  per  day.  It  was  remodeled  in  1880, 
its  capacity  then  being  fifteen  thousand  tons  per  year.  The  year 
i860  was  a  bad  one  for  the  plant.  The  nail  factory  burned  on 
January  10th  and  the  rolling  mill  dam  was  again  washed  out  on 
May  nth.  The  nail  factory  was  rebuilt  at  once  and  the  number 
of  machines  increased  to  forty-six,  many  being  added  later.     The 


output  then  reached  100,000  kegs  of  nails  annually.  The  dam  was 
never  rebuilt,  as  steam  had  already  been  used  in  part  in  the  opera- 
tion of  the  rolling  mill. 

In  the  meantime  the  firm  had  become  Fisher,  Morgan  &  Com- 
pany, and  on  February  1,  186],  their  interests  were  purchased  by 
the  newly  organized  Duncannon  Iron  Company,  the  old  firm  re- 
taining an  interest  in  the  stock  of  the  new  concern.  The  transfer 
of  lands  included  about  eight  hundred  acres.  The  new  firm  was 
under  the  management  of  John  Wister,  later  for  many  years  its 
president,  and  without  doubt  the  greatest  ironmaster  ever  inter- 
ested in  any  Perry  County  plant.  When  Fisher,  Morgan  &  Com- 
pany sold  to  the  Duncannon  Iron  Company  they  retained  Monte- 
bello  furnace  (which  had  ceased  operations),  and  3,469  acres  of 
land,  which  they  sold  in  June,  1885,  to  John  Wister,  as  trustee  of 
the  Duncannon  Iron  Company.  The  iron  storage  house  was 
burned  November  1.,  187 r.  The  old  stave  mill,  built  when  the  first 
nail  factory  was  erected,  was  burned  in  the  spring  of  1875,  an^  a 
new  one  immediately  erected  on  the  south  hank  of  Sherman's 
Creek.  On  March  12,  1882,  the  rolling  mill  was  burned  down  and 
again  rebuilt  at  once.  On  the  evening  of  November  28,  1888,  the 
main  building  of  the  nail  factory  was  entirely  destroyed  by  fire 
and  the  machinery  badly  damaged.  It  too  was  immediately  re- 
built, on  the  opposite  side  of  Sherman's  Creek.  The  large  stone 
office  building  of  the  Duncannon  Iron  Company  was  built  in  1866, 
being  occupied  January  14,  1867.  It  is  35x54  in  size,  with  the 
main  office  room  sixteen  feet  in  height.  The  company  store  dates 
back  to  the  time  of  the  first  forge,  erected  in  1828.  Who  the  early 
managers  of  the  company  store  were  it  is  impossible  to  state.  W. 
J.  Stewart  was  the  manager  as  early  as  1871.  1 1 is  successor  was 
Ahram  Hess,  who  was  succeeded  in  1882  by  S.  A.  E.  Rife.  The 
store  closed  in  1908. 

John  Wister  was  for  over  half  a  century  connected  with  the 
Duncannon  Iron  Works,  rising  from  errand  boy  to  president  and 
general  manager.  He  was  born  in  Germantown,  Philadelphia, 
July  15,  1829,  the  son  of  William  and  Sarah  Logan  (Fisher)  Wis- 
ter, the  former  of  German  and  the  latter  of  English  descent.  He 
was  educated  in  the  Germantown  Academy.  He  arrived  at  Dun- 
cannon, via  packet  boat  and  on  foot,  November  2,  1845,  to  enter 
the  employ  of  an  uncle,  skilled  in  the  iron  business,  and  his  first 
position  was  that  of  office  boy.  He  was  then  a  tall,  athletic  young 
lad  of  but  sixteen  summers.  From  that  position  of  office  boy 
he  became  the  noted  president  and  general  manager  of  the  Dun- 
cannon Iron  Company,  skilled  along  every  operation  of  the  iron 
business,  for  he  had  made  it  a  study.  When  he  first  came  the 
operation  of  the  plant  was  still  furnished  by  the  waters  of  Sher- 
man's Creek,  and  without  any  tariff  on  iron  the  workers  at  the 


plant  were  paid  a  meagre  wage,  and  that  often  in  scrip.  Under 
his  management  steam  was  introduced  and,  witli  a  tariff  placed 
upon  foreign  production,  the  Duncannon  plant  became  one  of  the 
important  iron  plants  of  the  state.  Few  labor  troubles  ever  agi- 
tated the  Duncannon  mills,  and  in 
1895,  upon  the  fiftieth  anniver- 
sary of  his  connection  with  the 
plant  .  all  the  employees  —  over 
four  hundred  —  marched  to  his 
residence  to  extend  their  good 
will,  and  incidentally,  present  a 
handsome  and  expensive  chair  to 
which  all  had  contributed  a  small 
sum.  Mr.  Wister  died  June  4, 
1900,  beloved  by  hundreds  who 
had  served  under  him  at  various 
times.  He  was  not  only  presi- 
dent and  general  manager  of  the 
Duncannon  Iron  Company,  but 
was  president  of  both  the  Dun- 
cannon National  Bank  and  the 
Trout  Run  Water  Company.  He 
attained  his  majority  in  1850,  and 
in  1852  the  county  press  records 
that  "John  Wister  III,  was  elect- 
ed corresponding  secretary"  of  a 
Republican  political  meeting.  It 
was  in  that  small  way  that  he  be- 
gan his  work  in  the  Republican 
party  of  Perry  County,  from 
which  he  later  could  have  had  anything  he  desired. 

The  furnace  was  run  for  a  half  century,  ceasing  operations  in 
1900,  and  being  dismantled  in  1901-02.  The  nail  factory  made  cut 
nails,  winch  were  largely  superceded  by  wire  nails,  and  operations 
in  it  were  discontinued  in  1908.  The  plant  was  taken  over  by  the 
Lebanon  Iron  &  Steel  Company,  in  19 10,  which  has  been  operating 
it  since  then,  except  during  slack  periods. 

Among  the  exhibitors  at  the  Centennial  Exposition  in  Philadel- 
phia, in  1776,  was  the  Duncannon  Iron  Company,  which  displayed 
a  nail  machine  built  and  set  up  by  the  late  William  J.  Black,  long 
in  the  company's  employ. 

An  act  was  passed  in  1839  by  the  Pennsylvania  Legislature  au- 
thorizing the  building  of  a  bridge  across  the  Juniata  at  Baskins' 
Ferry,  and  the  work  was  begun  at  once.  On  June  21,  of  the  same 
year,  another  act  was  passed,  which  authorized  the  construction  of 
a  railroad  from  the  Pennsylvania  Canal,  at  Duncan's   Island,  to 

johx  wister 

Tin-    Greatest    Iron    Manufacturer    of 
Perry    County. 



Sherman's  Creek.  The  mad  was  to  begin  al  the  eastern  end  of 
the  bridge,  at  a  point  not  exceeding  one-fourth  of  a  mile  there- 
from, and  to  cross  to  the  west  bank  of  the  Juniata,  passing  through 
or  near  Petersburg  (now  Duncannon),  and  to  terminate  at  or  near 
the  mouth  of  Sherman's  Creek,  the  distance  being  two  miles.  The 
directors  were  Cornelius  Baskins,  president;  Amos  A.  Jones, 
Jacob  Keiser,  Thomas  Duncan,  Thomas  K.  Lmdley,  John  B.  Top- 
ley,  John  Charters,  and  Jacob  Clay.  They  were  likewise  the  direc- 
tors of  the  bridge.  This  old  railroad  was  used  and  operated  by  the 
Duncannon  Iron  Company  in  transporting  to  and  from  their  plant 
raw  material  and  the  finished  product,  shipments  being  made  and 
received  at  Benvenue  by  canal  boat.  The  cars  were  drawn  by 
horses  and  mules.  The  bridge  over  which  the  railroad  crossed  the 
Juniata  River  was  washed  away  in  1845  and  was  rebuilt.  On 
March  17,  1865,  it  was  again  washed  away.  The  iron  company 
then  erected  a  warehouse  at  Aqueduct,  reshipping  by  rail  from 
there  to  Duncannon.  After  that  the  road  was  no  longer  used,  al- 
though its  rails  lay  for  a  number  of  years. 

Marshall  Furnace.  The  lands  upon  which  Marshall  furnace,  in 
East  Newport,  was  built,  was  purchased  of  Elias  Fisher,  and  in 
1872,  Egle,  Philips  &  Company  erected  the  furnace,  which  later 
passed  into  the  possession  of  the  Marshall  family,  of  Philadelphia. 
Major  Peter  Hiestand  was  long  superintendent  of  this  furnace, 
which  ran  rather  regularly  until  about  1900,  but  which  has  run 
intermittently  since,  owing  to  its  distance  from  raw  material. 


IT  seems  strange  that  these  shores  should  have  been  hidden  so 
long  and  that  they  should  be  reserved  for  settlement  until  after 
the  Reformation.  Could  it  have  been  mere  chance,  or  was  it 
the  work  of  an  all- wise  Creator?  Did  He  reserve  these  lands  for 
the  most  enlightened  Christian  people  of  that  age — for  those  west- 
ern Europeans,  the  Pilgrim,  the  Puritan,  the  Holland  Dutch,  the 
Friend,  the  German,  the  Scotch- Irish,  and  all  that  noble  band  who 
braved  the  dangers  of  the  deep  and  the  terror  of  the  red  men  that 
they  might  worship  God  according  to  their  own  free  will? 

The  men  who  founded  Pennsylvania  were  intensely  religious ; 
many  of  them  came  here  to  have  freedom  of  religious  worship ; 
they  lived  in  a  period  when  religious  doctrines  were  the  great  ab- 
sorbing questions  of  life,  so  much  so  that  the  present  generation 
cannot  realize  the  zeal  of  their  ancestry.  They  had  family  worship 
in  their  homes.  The  Father's  business  was  their  first  considera- 
tion, and  they  builded  well,  for  notwithstanding  any  seeming  laxity 
of  religion,  even  the  sneering  cynic  does  not  enter  the  state  of  wed- 
lock nor  have  the  last  sad  rites  for  a  member  of  his  family  occur 
without  calling  upon  the  ministry  and  the  church,  thus  recognizing 
its  sanctity  and  Divine  inspiration. 

Those  churchmen  of  generations  ago  and  even  of  the  passing 
generations  were  men  of  stability  and  worth  who  stood  four- 
square in  their  communities  and  were  as  solid  and  trustworthy  as 
the  very  hills  which  surrounded  them.  Even  to-day,  is  it  not 
largely  so  with  the  active  churchmen — those  who  attend  and  par- 
ticipate and  whose  names  are  upon  the  church  books  for  more 
than  business  reasons?  Of  course  there  were  prejudices  in  those 
days,  but  they  have  largely  turned  to  dust,  buried  bigotries  of  a 
departing  age.  In  all  the  writer's  many  travels  over  the  territory 
during  the  past  few  years  in  only  two  cases  did  he  note  any  evi- 
dence of  prejudice  in  regard  to  sect  upon  the  part  of  those  inter- 
viewed and  one  of  the  interviewed  is  now  numbered  with  the  de- 
parted. Joint  services  are  held  in  many  towns  and  communities 
by  the  various  denominations,  and  this  passing  of  prejudice  is  a 
heritage  largely  due  to  the  "union  Sunday  school  picnics"  of  yes- 
teryear, when  the  men  and  women  of  to-day  were  boys  and  girls 
and  knew  their  neighbor  of  another  creed  was  just  as  good  a  fel- 
low and  that  there  was  really  little  difference — and  no  vital  one — 
in  their  beliefs.     And  this  community  spirit  is  growing! 



Some  of  the  old-time  preachers  were  often  loud  in  their  dis- 
courses, and  sometimes  long.  Many  of  them  preached  much  of 
the  relent lessness  of  God  towards  evildoers,  instead  of  dwelling 
upon  His  love  and  forgiving  spirit,  ofttimes  shouting  or  thunder- 
ing their  remarks.  It  is,  however,  even  said  of  Jonathan  Edwards, 
the  prominent  New  England  theologian,  whose  life  was  passed  in 
benevolence,  that  he  delighted  in  describing  the  fierceness  and  re- 
lentless cruelty  of  God. 

Bancroft,  the  historian,  says  :  "He  who  will  not  honor  the  mem- 
ory and  respect  the  influence  of  John  Calvin  knows  but  little  of 
the  origin  of  American  liberty,"  and  it  was  the  creed  of  John  Cal- 
vin that  first  carried  the  Gospel  into  the  territory  now  compri sing- 
Perry  County.  The  Scotch-Irish  were  the  first  to  settle  Perry 
County  territory,  and  with  them  came  Calvinism  and  Presbyte- 
rianism.  Here,  in  the  heart  of  the  forests,  they  planted  the  first 
churches,  one  of  which  is  to-day  a  bulwark  of  strength  in  western 
Perry,  in  the  famous  Sherman's  Valley.  In  those  early  days  the 
church  had  more  or  less  dominion  as  to  where  buildings  should 
be  erected  and  where  dividing  lines  should  be  drawn  in  the  inter- 
vening territory.  That  that  question  came  up  early  in  the  settle- 
ment is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  the  Presbytery  of  Donegal — 
practically  the  predecessor  of  the  Carlisle  Presbytery — at  a  meet- 
ing held  April  24,  1766,  appointed  a  committee  "to  attempt  to  set- 
tle matters  respecting  the  seat  of  a  meetinghouse  or  meetinghouses 
to  be  erected  in  Sherman's  Valley."  It  was  to  meet  the  Wednes- 
day after  the  third  Sabbath  of  June.  It  was  composed  of  Rev. 
Robert  Cooper,  Rev.  George  Duffield,  and  the  following  elders: 
Colonel  Armstrong  (with  William  Lyon,  alternate),  Thomas  Wil- 
son and  John  McKnight,  the  elders  to  devote  the  previous  Tues- 
day "to  reconnoitre." 

This  committee  met  at  George  Robinson's — close  to  the  present 
location  of  Centre  church — on  July  2.  After  two  days  devoted  to 
hearing  testimony  and  deliberating  the  committee  came  to  the  con- 
clusion "that  there  ought  to  be  a  church  at  Alexander  Morrow's 
or  James  Blain's  (where  there  was  already  a  graveyard)  for  the 
upper  end  of  the  valley,  and  one  at  George  Robinson's  for  the 
centre."  Settling  the  place  of  the  location  for  the  lower  meeting- 
house was  deferred  until  further  light  could  be  obtained.  (Rec- 
ords of  Presbytery  for  1766,  pp.  186-189.)  These  incidents  pre- 
date the  forming  of  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Presbyterian 
Church  in  America,  which  convened  first  in  1788. 

To  a  little  book  printed  in  London,  in  1768,  entitled  "The  Jour- 
nal of  a  Two-Months'  Tour,  with  a  view  of  Promoting  Religion 
Among  the  Frontier  Inhabitants  of  Pennsylvania,  and  of  Intro- 
ducing Christianity  Among  the  Indians  to  the  Westward  of  the 
Allegheny  Mountains,"  we  are  indebted  for  a  glimpse  of  the  early 


introduction  of  religious  worship  in  Sherman's  Valley.  While  the 
title  was  long  the  pages  were  few,  only  no,  and  it  was  in  the  form 
of  a  report,  hy  Rev.  Charles  Beatty,  to  the  Earl  of  Darmouth  and 
other  prominent  Englishmen  then  interested  in  that  work.  The 
time  covered  was  in  1766,  and  after  reciting  that  he  was  appointed 
by  the  Synod  of  New  York  and  Philadelphia  to  visit  the  frontier 
inhabitants  "that  a  better  judgment  might  be  formed  what  assist- 
ance might  be  necessary  to  afford  them,  in  their  present  low  cir- 


The  first  man  to  carry  the  Gospel  to  the  Pioneers  west  of  the 
Kittatinny  or  Blue   Mountain.. 

cumstances,  in  order  to  promote  the  Gospel  among  them ;  and 
likewise  to  visit  the  Indians,  in  case  it  could  be  done  in  safety,  to 
know  whether  they  were  inclined  to  receive  the  Gospel."  Accom- 
panied by  a  Christian  Indian,  he  arrived  in  Carlisle  August  15, 
having  traveled  122  miles.     From  his  journal : 

"Monday,  August  18. — In  the  forenoon  we  were  much  engaged  prepar- 
ing for  our  journey;  sat  out  with  Mr.  Duffield.  After  riding  about  six 
miles  we  came  to  the  North  Mountain,  which  is  high  and  steep.  The  day 
being  very  warm,  and  we  obliged  to  walk,  or  rather  climb  up  it,  the 
greatest  part  of  the  way,  were  greatly  fatigued  by  the  time  we  reached  the 
top.  After  traveling  four  miles  into  Sherman's  Valley,  we  came,  in 
the  night,  to  Thomas  Ross's,  where  we  lodged." 


The  statement  that  they  came  to  the  Ross  home  in  the  night  is 
an  example  of  the  perils  and  discomforts  which  attended  these 
early  purveyors  of  the  Word,  for  it  must  be  remembered  that  they 
were  unattended  by  any  who  knew  the  way  and  that  roads  were 
then  unknown,  the  vast  forests  being  broken  only  by  trails  and 

In  the  entry  following  Rev.  Beatty  tells  of  his  visit  to  that  tem- 
ple in  the  woods,  not  built  by  hands,  but  where  for  over  a  century 
historic  Centre  Presbyterian  Church  has  stood  and  where  it  has 
ministered  to  a  people  who  braved  dangers  untold  to  erect  their 
homes  in  a  land  still  a  forest  primeval,  and  to  their  descendants. 
He  says : 

"Tuesday,  19th. — Rode  four  or  five  miles  to  a  place  in  the  woods,  de- 
signed for  building  a  house  for  worship,  and  preached,  but  io  a  small 
auditory;  notice  of  our  preaching  not  having  been  sufficiently  spread. 
After  sermon,  I  opened  to  the  people  present  the  principal  design  of  the 
synod  in  sending  us  to  them  at  this  time ;  that  it  was  not  only  to  preach 
the  Gospel,  but  also  to  enquire  into  their  circumstances,  situation,  num- 
bers, and  ability  to  support  it." 

"The  people  not  being  prepared  to  give  us  a  full  answer,  promised  to 
send  it  to  Carlisle  before  our  return.  After  sermon  we  proceeded  on  our 
way  about  five  miles  and  lodged  at  Mr.  Fergus's.  The  house  where  he 
lives  was  attacked  by  the  Indians  in  the  late  war,  the  owner  of  it  killed, 
and,  if  I  am  not  mistaken,  some  others.  While  the  Indians  were  pillaging 
the  house  and  plantation,  in  order  to  carry  off  what  suited  them,  a  number 
of  the  countrymen  armed  came  upon  them ;  a  smart  skirmish  ensued,  in 
which  the  countrymen  had  the  better.  The  Indians  were  obliged  to  fly,  and 
carried  off  their  wounded,  but  left  all  their  booty  behind  them." 

The  place  here  referred  to  was  the  home  of  Alexander  Logan, 
which  was  later  occupied  by  Mr.  Fergus.  It  is  located  near  where 
Sandy  Hill  post  office  was  later  established,  in  Madison  Township, 
and  was  long  owned  by  George  McMillen.  From  the  Logan  place 
the  party  traveled  along  the  south  foot  of  Conococheague  Moun- 
tain, crossing  it  by  the  ravine  north  of  Andersonburg,  and  mis- 
takenly calling  it  the  Tuscarora  Mountain.  In  passing  down  the 
north  side  they  came  to  where  Mohler's  tannery  was  located  in  a 
succeeding  generation,  and  crossed  Liberty  Valley  via  Bigham's 
Gap  to  the  Tuscarora  Valley,  now  in  Juniata  County. 

Just  how  the  Gospel  came  to  be  first  carried  west  of  the  Kitta- 
tinny  Mountains  is  of  interest  to  all.  The  origin  of  the  missionary 
tour  of  Rev.  Charles  Beatty  and  Rev.  George  Duffield  to  the  dis- 
tressed frontier,  harassed  by  the  Indians,  and  to  the  Indians  them- 
selves, seems  to  have  been  an  action  of  The  Corporation  for  the 
Relief  of  Poor  and  Distressed  Presbyterian  Ministers  of  New 
York,  as  an  extract  from  their  minutes  reads : 

"November  16,  1762. — At  a  meeting  of  the  Corporation  in  the  city,  it 
was  agreed  that  the  board  appoint  some  of  their  members  to  wait  on  the 
synod  at  their   next   meeting,   and  in   their  name   request   that   some  mis- 


sionaries  be  sent  to  preach  to  the  distressed  frontier  inhabitants,  and  to 
report  their  distresses,  and  to  let  us  know  when  new  congregations  are 
a  forming,  and  what  is  necessary  to  be  done  to  promote  the  spread  of  the 
Gospel  among  them,  and  that  they  inform  us  what  opportunities  there 
may  be  of  preaching  the  Gospel  to  the  Indian  nations  in  their  neighbor- 

It  was  then  agreed  that  the  necessary  expenses  of  these  missi 
aries  be  paid  by  this  board.    To  many  Perry  Countian        ^    y  fee. 
a  surprise  that  the  Gospel   was   first   carried  to  their  courv 

After  mentioning  the  beginning  of  Centre  Church  in  170  p  QAd 
that  of  Dick's  Gap  about  the  same  time,  Rev.  D.  H.  Focht,  in  .. 
valuable  and  painstaking  volume,  "The  Churches  Between  the 
Mountains,"  says :  "Besides  these  two  instances  we  have  not  found 
a  single  reference  to  churches  in  Perry  County  (territory)  until 
1790."  He  fails  to  mention  the  organization  of  the  Upper  Church 
at  Blain  at  the  same  time,  that  Limestone  Ridge  (or  Sam  Fisher's 
Church")  existed  co incidentally,  and  that  Dick's  Gap  joined  with 
the  Sherman's  Creek  Church  as  early  as  1778  in  calling  Rev. 
Thorn,  all  of  which  were  long  prior  to  1790.  Farther  back  in  his 
own  book  (page  286)  he  tells  of  the  St.  Michael's  Lutheran 
Church  in  Pfoutz  Valley  being  organized  as  early  as  1770  to  1773, 
and  of  the  purchase  of  their  grounds  February  15,  1776,  on  which 
they  erected  a  building  which  they  used  for  both  school  and  church 
purposes,  also  long  prior  to  1790.  This  is  not  mentioned  here  in 
the  way  of  criticism,  but  to  correct  a  general  misunderstanding 
that  prevails  by  reason  of  the  paragraph  cited  above,  which  is 
sometimes  quoted. 

Early  last  century  many  of  the  Scotch-Irish  had  begun  to  move 
westward  and  the  new  population,  coming  in  their  wake  and  often 
purchasing  their  lands,  was  mostly  of  German  extraction,  whose 
religion  was  principally  Lutheran  and  German  Reformed.  At 
first  their  services  were  almost  exclusively  in  German,  but  gradu- 
ally were  replaced  with  English.  Then  came  the  Methodist 
Church,  with  youth,  zeal  and  earnestness,  holding  its  meetings  in 
homes  and  schoolhouses  and  conducting  great  camp  meetings  in 
the  woods.  Other  denominations  followed  until  to-day  there  are 
ten,  eight  of  which  have  numerous  churches,  and  of  the  remaining 
two  one  has  two  churches,  and  the  other  a  single  church. 

The  Presbyterians  had  been  holding  services  and  building 
churches  within  the  limits  of  what  is  now  western  Perry  County 
for  several  decades  before  the  advent  of  the  Lutherans  to  any  ex- 
tent, although  the  Lutherans  of  that  section  east  of  the  Juniata, 
about  1770,  were  holding  meetings  and  were  about  organizing  St. 
Michael's  Church,  in  Pfoutz  Valley.  Rev.  Focht,  in  his  "Churches 
Between  the  Mountains,"  says  the  Lutheran  people  were  occa- 
sionally visited  by  ministers  of  their  own  churches  before  1774, 


according  to  tradition,  and  that  afterwards  they  enjoyed  frequent 
visits  from  Rev.  John  G.  Butler,  who  was  pastor  of  the  Lutheran 
Church  of  Carlisle  from  1780  to  1788.  Shortly  after  that  Rev. 
John  Timothy  Kuhl,  of  Franklin  County,  began  visiting  the  mem- 
bers in  Sherman's  Valley,  and  in  1790  he  moved  among  them  and 
became  the  first  regular  pastor,  having  a  large  field  and  preaching 
once  every  six  weeks  at  each  place.  In  an  old  document  belonging 
to  the  congregation  at  Loysville,  it  is  written:  "In  the  year  of  our 
Lord  1790,  the  Germans  in  Sherman's  Valley  secured  the  Evan- 
gelical Lutheran  minister,  the  Rev.  John  Timotheus  Kuhl,  as  their 
pastor."  Rev.  Focht,  in  his  volume,  further  says :  "The  late  Mr. 
George  Fleisher,  of  Saville  Township,  who  died  in  1855,  aged 
eighty-four  years,  when  nineteen  years  old,  with  a  team  moved 
Rev.  Kuril's  family  and  effects  from  Franklin  County  to  this  val- 
ley. Rev.  Kuhl  resided  near  where  Loysville  is  now  located. 
From  the  above  documentary  evidence,  we  infer  that  he  visited  and 
preached  to  the  members  scattered  at  various  points  in  the  whole 
valley.  Before  the  erection  of  Lebanon  Church  at  Loysville,  he 
preached  in  barns  and  private  dwellings  at  different  places  in  that 
neighborhood.  Encouraged  by  a  minister  living  in  their  midst, 
and  united  in  their  desires  and  efforts,  the  membership  proceeded, 
in  1794,  to  build  a  house  of  worship  at  Loysville,  which  they  de- 
nominated Lebanon  Church."  The  history  of  the  building  of  that 
church  appears  further  on.  The  George  Fleisher  referred  to  was 
the  grandfather  of  the  various  heads  of  the  Fleisher  families  lo- 
cated about  Newport  some  years  ago  and  yet,  viz :  George,  John, 
Amos,  Prof.  Daniel,  etc. 

There  has  never  been  a  Catholic  church  in  Perry  County. 
While  the  canal  was  building,  during  1827-28,  services  were  held 
occasionally  in  homes,  as  the  employees  were  largely  Irish  Catho- 
lics. Their  number  was  occasionally  reduced  by  a  death,  and  they 
purchased  from  John  Huggins  a  plot  of  ground  on  the  lands  lying 
close  to  Liverpool  and  opened  a  cemetery.  There  was  hut  one 
tombstone  in  it  and  it  marked  the  grave  of  John  Doyle,  a  hotel 
keeper.  The  Liverpool  folks  have  known  it  as  "the  Irish  ceme- 

With  the  settlement  of  both- English-speaking  and  German- 
speaking  people  in  this  territory  the  two  languages  were  in  general 
use,  but  the  public  business  was  conducted  in  English.  The  Ger- 
man element  was  loath  to  give  up  their  language  and,  although 
their  children  were  learning  and  speaking  English,  they  contended 
against  the  preaching  of  the  word  in  English  in  their  churches. 
The  most  prominent  example  of  this  was  that  of  Rev.  John  William 
Heim,  pastor  of  the  Loysville  Lutheran  Charge.  When  the  West 
Pennsylvania  Synod  met  at  New  Bloomfield  in  September,  1842, 
some  of  the  ministers  preached  in  the  English  language.     Members 


of  the  congregation  at  Bloomfield — also  a  part  of  his  charge — knew 
the  necessity  of  introducing  the  English  language  and  urged  him 
to  have  an  associate  pastor  who  could  preach  in  English.  This  he 
refused  to  do,  with  the  result  that  an  English  Lutheran  church 
was  organized  in  June,  1844,-  and  held  its  meetings  in  the  school- 
In  uise,  and  later  in  the  Presbyterian  Church.  This  condition  ex- 
isted until  1850,  after  the  death  of  Rev.  Heim,  which  occurred  the 
previous  year,  when  the  two  Lutheran  churches  were  again  put 
under  one  pastorate.  But,  as  late  as  1853  there  was  a  requirement 
that  one-third  of  the  preaching  should  be  in  German. 

In  the  early  years  of  settlement  it  was  a  common  thing  to  travel 
long  distances  to  church,  over  bridle  paths  and  roads  hardly  worthy 
of  the  name.  George  and  Alexander  Johnston,  of  Toboyne  Town- 
ship, the  latter  the  father  of  Dr.  A.  R.  Johnston,  of  New  Bloom- 
field,  were  members  of  the  United  Presbyterian  Church  at  Con- 
cord, Franklin  County.  They  were  born  in  1802  and  1805,  and 
died  in  1872  and  1864,  respectively,  so  that  even  to  almost  the 
middle  of  last  century,  it  appears,  it  was  not  uncommon  to  travel 
a  long  way  to  divine  worship.  George  W.  Gehr,  long  a  newspaper 
correspondent,  tells  of  Elliottsburg  citizens  walking  to  New  Bloom- 
field,  before  the  building  of  the  schoolhouse  at  Elliottsburg.  in 
which  the  first  services  were  held ;  telling  how  the  young  ladies 
tripped  along  barefooted  until  they  came  to  the  gristmill  site  west 
of  the  county  seat,  where  they  put  on  shoes  and  hose  and  pro- 
ceeded to  church.  This  was  a  custom  in  various  parts  of  the 
county.  H.  E.  Sheibley,  editor  of  the  Advocate,  at  New  Bloom- 
field,  recalls  the  time  when  his  people  attended  the  United  Pres- 
byterian Church  at  Duncannon,  making  the  ten-mile  trip  by  car- 
riage. Ann  West  Gibson,  the  mother  of  the  celebrated  Chief  Jus- 
tice Gibson,  went  from  the  Gibson  mill,  at  the  Spring-Carroll 
line,  to  Carlisle  to  attend  the  services  of  the  Church  of  England 
(Episcopalian).  In  fact,  many  of  the  first  pioneers  crossed  the 
Kittatinny  to  Carlisle  to  church  before  they  had  churches  in  their 

There  seems  to  be  a  diminishing  of  the  number  of  the  little 
country  churches  which  once  dotted  the  wayside,  as  population 
seeks  the  great  centres  and  since  labor-saving  machinery  has  made 
less  labor  requirements  upon  the  farms  ;  and  in  many  cases  when 
one  enters  those  that  remain  the  attendance  seems  to  be  consid- 
erably less  than  in  the  years  gone  by.  Of  course  families  are  also 
smaller,  and  the  introduction  of  motor  cars  has  also  had  its  ef- 
fect, but  the  passing  of  these  churches  is  indeed  to  be  regretted. 
They  were  a  leading  factor  in  the  breaking  down  of  sectarianism, 
they  fostered  the  best  in  life  and  were  to  newcomers  in  the  com- 
munity a  refuge  from  homesickness  and  loneliness.  They  were, 
along  with  being  houses  of  worship,  also,  to  the  country  just  what 



the  community  centres  are  to  the  great  cities.  Men  and  women, 
boys  and  girls  were  better  for  having  gone  there,  even  if  they 
were  not  members.  By  referring  to  the  chapters  in  this  book  re- 
lating to  the  various  townships  it  will  be  seen  that  here  and  there 
a  church  that  once  existed  has  gone.  In  several  of  the  smaller 
towns  there  seems  to  have  been  too  many  denominations  with  the 
natural  result  that  the  population  was  insufficient  to  support  them. 
Some  strange  facts  stand  out  in  the  history  of  these  earlier 
churches  of  Perry  County.    The  Dick's  Gap  Church  was  supposed 


(An  early  Circuit  Rider.) 
Mr.    Gruber   was   born   in    1778   and   died   in    1850.      On 
February  22,  1838,  he  was  married  to  Rachel  (Gillespie) 
Martin,    widow    of    Capt.    Joseph    Martin,    whose    bust 
appears   elsewhere  as  "The  Bride  of  a  Century  Ago." 

to  be  central  from  the  northern  boundary  to  the  southern  county 
line,  as  were  also  Blain  (Upper  Church)  and  Centre.  Dick's  Gap 
had  tree  stumps  for  seats.  The  Millerstown  Presbyterian  Church 
was  organized  in  a  bar  room  and  often  had  services  there.  During 
"the  twenties,"  the  county's  early  days,  a  pastor  of  that  church 
said  "there  was  little  or  no  vital  Godliness."  Middle  Ridge  Church 
was  practically  torn  down  and  carried  away  by  vandals.  The 
church  at  the  mouth  of  the  Juniata  (Presbyterian)  was  blown 
down  by  a  windstorm.  With  large  emigration  westward,  espe- 
cially by  the  Scotch-Irish  element,  the  Presbyterian  churches  have 
traveled  hard  lines  in  the  smaller  communities,  but  seven  out  of 


thirteen  now  holding  worship.  Groves,  homes,  schoolhouses,  and 
even  barns  were  used  for  early  meetings.  Few  churches  have 
burned.  Some  have  passed  away  through  the  loss  of  population 
in  their  respective  settlements.  Several  have  been  removed  and 
built  elsewhere.  Some  have  been  flooded  by  high  waters  during 
river  floods. 

The  clergymen  of  Perry  County  are,  as  a  rule,  a  zealous  and  in- 
dustrious body,  and  Sunday  school  work  and  the  opposition  to  the 
liquor  traffic  has  had  their  almost  united  enthusiastic  support. 
Many  of  them  have  gone  to  larger  and  broader  fields.  For  decades 
ministerial  associations  have  been  in  existence  in  Newport  and 
Duncannon,  and  in  1920  the  Ministerial  Association  of  Western 
Perry  County  was  organized  at  Loysville  with  Rev.  G.  R.  Heim, 
of  Blain,  as  president,  and  Rev.  F.  H.  Daubenspeck,  of  Ickesburg, 
as  secretary.  Rev.  A.  R.  Longanecker,  of  Loysville,  and  Rev.  E. 
V.  Strasbaugh,  of  Blain,  were  much  interested  in  its  organization. 

The  old-time  prayer  meeting  will  be  remembered  by  many  of 
the  readers  of  this  hook,  and  through  the  years  they  will  see  a 
vision  of  one  and  recall  the  kindly  voice  of  a  devout  worshiper 
whose  presence  is  no  longer  felt,  but  whose  example  in  the  com- 
munity is  remembered  to  this  day.  Many  years  ago,  Jacob  Crist, 
one  of  the  good  and  substantial  citizens  of  New  Bloomfield,  wrote 
for  the  Perry  Freeman  a  poem  which  is  here  reproduced  in  part, 
not  for  any  especial  literary  value,  but  as  a  pen  picture  of  an  old- 
time  prayer  meeting : 



Only  ihe  aged  ones  can  know 
<)f  prayer  meetings,  long  ago, 
How  Christian  men,  and  women  too, 
Did  worship  God,  sincere  and  true. 

Most  happy  and  sincere  they  felt, 
When  side  by  side  in  prayer  they  knelt ; 
Then  rise  and   sing  while  one  would  lead, 
"Alas!    and  did  my  Saviour  Bleed." 

Then  one  would  lead  in  prayer  again, 
Would  read  a  chapter  and  explain. 
Then  sing  about  that  Crimson  Flood, 
"There  is  a  Fountain  filled  with  Blood." 

And  "Come  Thou  Fount"  they  all  would  sing 
And,  "Children  of  the  Heavenly  King" 
And   ofttimes   sing  that   hymn   of   praise, 
"Awake   my   soul    in   joyful   lays." 

Then  kneeling  down  without   delay 
In  happy  mood  they  all  would  pray, 
Then  sing  some  brother's  favorite  choice 
With  cheering  sound,  and  strengthened  voice. 


And  Cennick's  hymn,  in  highest  tone, 
"Jesus,  my  all  to  heaven  is  gone"; 
Then  too,  well  nigh  beyond  control, 
Sing  "Jesus,  lover  of  my  soul." 

Then  for  the  mourners  all  would   pray, 
That  Christ  would  wash  their  sins  away  ; 
Then  rise  and  make  their  voices  ring, 
"O   for  a  thousand  tongues  to  sing." 

The  "mourners'  bench"  was  always  there, 
Where  penitents  would  kneel   for  prayer, 
And  Christians  would  with  talk  sincere, 
Encourage  them  to  persevere. 

And  Jones'  invitation  hymn, 
Which  is  pathetic  and  sublime  ; 
"Come,  humble  sinner,  in  whose  breast" 
Was   sung  and  anxious   souls  were  blest. 

One  custom  then,  seems  no  more  so, 
Then  men  and  women  both  would  go ; 
Now   women   mostly   do  attend. 
While  men  their  evening  elsewhere  spend. 

Schoolhouses  then  were  Bethels  true, 
And  men  did  not  object  thereto; 
The  fuel  too  was  not  refused. 
But  during  winter,  freely  used. 

Lit  candles  hung  around  the  wall, 
Would  dimly  shine  within  the  hall, 
And   ofttimes   when  they   shone  too   dim, 
Some  brother  would  with  snuffers  trim. 

Oft  when  the  meeting  knelt  to  pray, 
Bad  boys  would  laugh,  and  talk  and  play, 
And  then  the  leader  would  complain 
About  their  want  of  sense  and  brain. 

Sometimes  his  strictures  were  severe, 
And  sometimes  earnest  and  sincere ; 
But  boys  are  boys,  as  they  are  yet, 
And  good  advice  would  soon  forget. 

Near  ten,  the  leader  would  propose 
To  bring  the  meeting  to  a  close ; 
Then  rise  and  sing — ere  they  would  go — - 
"Praise  God,  from  whom  all  blessings  flow." 

Outside  the  girls  would  find  their  beaux 
Where  they  would  stand  each  side  in  rows, 
And  when  some  one  would  get  the  "fling," 
Then  cheers  and  laughs  and  whoops  would  ring. 

Soon  would  the  people  homeward  go, 
S<»me  better,  others  so  and  so, 
And  thus  repeat  it  o'er  and  o'er 
Or  find  excuse  to  go  no  more, 



Centre  Presbyterian  Church.  This  is  the  oldest  church  site  still 
in  regular  use  in  Perry  County.  It  was  the  first  church  organiza- 
tion in  the  territory,  but  the  old  Dick's  Gap  Church,  shrouded 
more  or  less  in  mystery,  is  supposed  to  have  been  erected  first,  al- 
though in  an  uncompleted  state  as  late  as  1798.  On  September  9, 
1766,  Thomas  Ross,  John  Byers,  Edward  Allet,  John  Hamilton, 


This   was   the   first   Communion   Service  of  "the  Church  at  the   Mouth   of   the 
Juniata,"   now  the  Duncannon   Presbyterian   Church,  the  history  of  which  ap- 
pears in   the   chapter   relating  to   Duncannon.      Official   records  of  this   church 
appear   as  early  as    1804. 

and  Hugh  Alexander,  in  trust  for  the  congregation  at  Tyrone,  in 
Tyrone  Township,  took  up  the  land--  upon  which  the  church 
stands.  They  were  surveyed  April  17.  1767.  The  incorporating 
charter  is  signed  by  Governor  William  Findley,  March  24,  1819. 
The  grounds  originally  contained  over  seven  acres,  set  with  a  fine 
stand  of  majestic  oaks,  many  of  which  still  stand.  The  old  Centre 
school  stood  on  the  tract  as  does  a  parsonage  and  a  home  for  the 



sexton.  In  the  graveyard,  with  an  extant  (if  several  acres,  are  tomb- 
stones bearing  dates  as  early  as  1766.  It  is  the  last  resting  place 
of  heroic  and  prominent  people.  The  church  is  in  the  midst  of 
the  most  historic  section  of  Perry  County,  in  itself  being  the  most 
historic  of  the  religions  organizations.  About  the  old  church 
building  there  stood  on  guard  two  members  of  the  flock  with  guns 
while  the  rest  worshiped,  as  protection  against  the  stealthy  en- 
croachment of  Indians.  Worshipers  came  carrying  their  guns, 
ready  for  any  attack. 

The  trustees  of  Centre  Church  in  1819,  when  it  was  chartered, 
were  John  Linn,  John  Creigh,  Thomas  Purely,  William  McClure, 
Charles  Elliott,  Samuel  McCord,  David  Coyle,  Robert  Elliott,  and 
Samuel  A.  Anderson. 

I11  1767  the  first  church  was  erected  of  logs,  with  dovetailed 
corners.  There  were  no  arrangements  for  fire,  even  in  severe 
weather.  Two  services  were  held  on  Sunday  and  lunches  were 
brought  along  by  the  attendants  who  remained  for  the  second  serv- 
ice. As  early  as  1760  there  had  been  requests  for  a  preacher  to 
the  Donegal  Presbytery,  but  the  churches  were  not  organized. 
However,  preachers  were  sent.  In '1766  the  Presbyterian  churches 
of  Sherman's  Valley  asked  for  organization,  and  the  Missionary 
Board  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  sent  Rev.  Charles  Beatty  to 
visit  the  frontier  settlements.     (See  previous  pages.) 

In  1793  a  stone  church  was  erected  in  place  of  the  log  structure. 
It  is  said  that  some  of  the  logs  of  this  first  church  still  are  a  part 
of  the  barn  on  the  old  Wormley  farm,  below  Waggoner's.  The 
third  church  was  built  in  1850,  to  which  has  since  been  added  the 
Sunday  school  section.  The  entire  church  has  also  been  remodeled 
several  times. 

After  some  investigation  three  churches  were  organized,  as  fol- 
lows: the  old  Dick's  Cap  Church,  Centre  Church,  and  Blain,  then 
called  the  Upper  Church.  April  14,  1767,  Presbytery  approved  it. 
The  "Limestone  Church" (Samuel  Fisher's),  near  Green  Park, 
had  already  been  partly  erected,  but  Presbytery  refused  to  organ- 
ize it  on  account  of  it  being  too  near  Centre  Church.  In  1772. 
however,  the  request  was  granted  and  it.  with  Centre  and  Upper 
(also  sometimes  called  Toboyne)  united  in  a  call  to  Rev.  William 
Thorn,  but  he  declined.  No  pastor  was  secured  until  1778,  when 
Rev.  John  Linn  was  installed  and  remained  until  his  death  in  1820. 
In  the  meantime  the  "Limestone"  Church  was  abandoned  and  in 
1823  the  congregation  at  Landishurg  was  organized.  A  Rev.  Gray 
filled  in  as  a  supply  for  several  years.  From  1826  to  183 1  Rev. 
James  M.  Olmstead  was  pastor  of  the  Upper  churches.  From 
183 1  to  1836  Rev.  Lindley  C.  Rutter  served,  followed  by  Rev. 
Nelson  until  1842.  Rev.  George  D.  Porter  followed  in  1844  and 
remained  until   185 1,  also  preaching  for  the  Millerstown  church. 


Rev.  George  S.  Ray,  a  supply,  rilled  in  until  1854,  when  Landis- 
burg joined  in  with  Centre  and  Blain.  Then  came  Lewis  Wil- 
liams, who  was  pastor  until  he  died  in  1857.  Rev.  John  H.  Clark- 
served  1857-62,  and  Rev.  J.  H.  Ramsey  1863-67. 

Blain  then  united  with  Ickesburg.  Centre  and  Landisburg  called 
Rev.  Robert  McPherson,  who  remained  until  1881.  It  was  sup- 
plied until  1883,  when  Rev.  John  H.  Cooper  filled  the  place  until 
1885,  first  as  stated  supply,  then  as  pastor. 

From  1867  until  the  present  time — a  period  covering  more  than 
a  halt -century — Centre  Church  has  had  but  six  ministers,  the  sixth 
being  the  present  pastor,  as  follows : 

1868-81     —Rev.  R.  M.  McPherson. 
1883-85    — Rev.  John  H.  Cooper. 
1887-1910 — Rev.  Win.  M.  Burchfield. 
[910-14    ■ — Rev.  George  H.  Miksch. 
1915-17     —Rev.  Hugh  R.  Magill,  M.D. 
1919         —Rev.  Carl  G.  H.  Ettlich. 

During  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Burchfield,  in  1895,  Landisburg, 
Blain  (or  Upper  Church),  and  Buffalo  (near  Ickesburg)  were 
detached  from  Centre  Church. 

Of  the  "old  stone  church,"  built  in  1793,  Rev.  William  A.  West, 
who  wrote  the  History  of  the  Presbytery  of  Carlisle,  said :  "The 
writer  remembers  well  its  appearance  in  his  boyhood  days,  when 
he  enjoyed  the  annual  treat  of  a  visit  at  his  maternal  grandfather's, 
close  by.  In  style,  in  appearance,  and  in  arrangement  it  was  like 
nearly  all  the  stone  churches  of  that  day."  Rev.  D.  H.  Focht,  in 
his  "Churches  Between  the  Mountains,"  says  that  "the  old  church 
building  was  not  erected  until  1793,"  but  fails  to  state  that  that  was 
the  second  church  to  be  erected  there. 

Blain  Presbyterian  Church.  The  question  of  locating  the  first 
Presbyterian  churches  in  the  territory  which  now  comprises  Perry 
County  came  up  at  Donegal  Presbytery's  meeting  April  24,  1766, 
and  the  committee  sent  to  "reconnoitre"  reported  that  there  ought 
to  be  a  church  at  Alexander  Morrow's  or  James  Blaine's  (where 
there  was  already  a  graveyard)  for  the  upper  end  of  the  valley, 
and  one  at  George  Robinson's  for  the  centre."  The  people  of  the 
upper  end  erected  their  church  near  James  Blaine's,  near  where 
the  "Upper  Church"  still  stands,  and  adjoining  the  graveyard 
spoken  of.  This  James  Blaine  was  the  father  of  Ephraim  Blaine, 
the  Perry  Countian  who  was  Commissary  General  during  the 
Revolutionary  Wrar,  and  from  him  descended  that  great  statesman, 
|"ames  G.  Blaine,  younger  generations  adding  an  "e"  to' the  name. 
See  chapter  in  this  book  entitled  The  Blaine  Family. 

The  early  records  of  this  church  are  missing,  but  according  to 
the  annals  of  Presbytery  and  early  historical  records  there  was  an 
organized  congregation  where  Blain  now  stands  as  early  as  1767, 


in  which  year  it  united  in  a  call  with  the  churches  at  Centre  and 
Dick's  Cap  to  Presbytery  for  recognition  and  the  services  of  a 
pastor.  There  is  no  evidence  of  the  erection  of  a  church  then  and 
the  meetings,  as  they  were  known,  were  likely  held  in  the  homes. 
September  8,  1772,  it  united  with  Centre  and  "Sam  Fisher's 
Church"  ("Limestone"  Church,  near  Green  Park)  in  extending  a 
call  to  Rev.  William  Thom  to  become  pastor,  hut  he  did  not  accept. 
They  probably  hack  a  building  by  this  time.  In  1777  they  called 
Rev.  John  Linn,  and  from  then  to  1868  its  pastors  were  the  same 
as  those  of  Centre  Church.  ( See  preceding  pages.)  In  that 
year  the  Blain  and  Ickeshurg  churches  united  to  form  a  charge. 
Rev.  |.  |.  Hamilton,  residing  in  Saville  Townshi